The Growing Concern over the Ecological Situation – More Than Ever Now with Japan
Due to the fact that the mankind has broken the balance between the nature and the technological progress, it is obvious that the situation is becoming increasingly threatening. In the light of the recent events, it is absolutely clear that people have to reconsider their attitude towards the environment. Once the mankind will take certain responsibility for their actions and start being more careful towards the nature and the wildlife, it is highly probable that further improvements will be possible.
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One of the leading organizations for the world nature safety, Greenpeace has remained the group struggling for the world safety and the wildlife preservation. However, it was not that quickly that the mankind realized the necessity to create a team which would protect the nature from the harmful influence of humans. Even now, numerous people are expressing their doubts concerning the efficiency and the reasonability of Greenpeace as an organization.
What Greenpeace suggested was a brand new approach to environmentalism which was further on called the deep ecology. Although the deep ecology cannot solve all the problematic issues of the modern environment, it can offer certain solutions which relate to the most up-to-date ideas concerning the environment and its interconnection with people’s activities.
As the organization was founded, it became clear that its chief goal was helping people to find their place on the Earth and in the nature. Rex Weyler, the founder of the Greenpeace organization, has the right to be called one of the greatest people ever, since he saved not only the most endangered species, but also the mankind itself, bringing it to into balance with the nature – or, at least, taking huge efforts to. As Macy said,
It is essential that we develop our inner resources. We have to learn to look at the things as they are, painful and overwhelming as that may be, for no healing can begin until we are fully present to our world, until we learn to sustain the gaze. (151)
Indeed, cognizing oneself is impossible without cognizing the nature, which means that each step towards knowledge must begin with investigating the nature and its phenomena. Unless people know better the world they live in, they will not be able to progress.
However, it would be even more insightful to listen to the arguments driven by Wexler himself. According to the founder of the Greenpeace organization, one of the greatest concerns was to make people see all the woes of the nature and evoke people’s sympathy.
With help of the pieces of information which Wexler called “mindbombs”, or “simple images delivered by the media that would ‘explode in people’s minds’ and create a new understanding of the world” (Wexler 73), it was simpler to convey the idea of peril which unwise resource utilizing poses to the world.
Thus, what Greenpeace is aiming at is bringing the knowledge on the nature to the mankind, so that more or less stable relationships with nature could be established as soon as possible.
One of the prerequisites of the Greenpeace foundation was the fact that the ecological crisis was slowly but surely approaching. In spite of the fact that people had been trying to improve the existing situation, it finally hit the mankind with the most unpleasant and severe results.
Due to the multiple problems which arose in the result of the environmental threat, the necessity to form a nature-protecting organization was finally shaped. According to what Plumwood said, even in the XXI century people cannot embrace fully the number of environmental problems which they are facing; contaminating the environment, the mankind is slowly walking towards another crisis, even more serious than the economical one:
Although the long-term portent of such processes potentially disruptive to survival as deforestation, global warming and ocean degradation, is not yet fully grasped, and devastating forms of positive-feedback area real possibility, a low priority is being accorded to deal with them. (1)”
Thus, the fact that the Greenpeace organization was finally to emerge was logically predetermined and long-awaited. However, starting the new policy of sustainable environment was not enough to change the situation radically, which Greenpeace knew quite well; therefore, the new policy was undertaken to create a niche for the wildlife and the nature.
Since the new organization proclaimed the struggle for a better environment its core asset, Greenpeace worked on a scheme which could finally lead the world out of the environmental peril; according to what David McTaggart, the historic leader of the organization, said, the key goal of Greenpeace was restoring the nature and helping people coexist with it, not causing the wildlife to suffer from the unwise and incautious actions of people:
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The biggest threat we must address is nationalism. In the next century we are going to be faced with issues which simply cannot be addressed on a nation-by-nation basis. What we are trying to do is to work together internationally, despite centuries of nationalist prejudice. (Pepper 198)
Therefore, it can be considered that the key goal of the Greenpeace organization which they have been trying to achieve through all this time – and with great success, which must be admitted – was the idea of global integration in terms of saving the environment. Once Greenpeace managed to make people interested in the work they conduct, the organization proved that saving the world is something that each can contribute to.
Man and Nature or Man vs. Nature: The Double-Sided Sword
Although the mankind has already managed to establish contact with the nature, there are still some difficulties in maintaining the connection, mainly due to the fact that people do not have the right vision of the nature and the environmental problems; as Emerson noticed, “To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature” (4).
Trying to integrate the world into a global fighting for the Earth salvation and preserving the rarest species of animals and plants, the Greenpeace enthusiasts managed to make people see the interconnections between a man and a nature, helping them to find a common language with the environment.
This was what Leopold Talked about when saying, “I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer” (11). What seemed impossible at first became a part of the XXI century reality. No matter how incredible it could have seemed to a XX century European, people of the world joined their forces to create a safer environment –for their children and descendants, if not for them. Indeed, this was a major success and a great progress.
However, this was not the end of the activists’ success. In addition, it has turned out that people tried to see the nature as something kindred to them, and feel an integral part of the nature around them. In spite of the fact that people have always taken the nature as something opposite to the mankind, it was recently that people have finally accepted it as an element within them. Interpreting the theory of a man versus nature, Emerson put the idea of coexistence between a man and a nature in the following way:
Strictly speaking, therefore, all that is separate from us, all which Philosophy distinguishes as NOT ME, that is, both nature and art, all other men and my own body, must be ranked under this name, NATURE (2-3)
Still, it must be noticed that the great philosopher did not take into account the fact that a man can be a part of nature as well. On the contrary, Emerson considered a man as an element which is to be opposed to the nature. Although such idea seems rather doubtful now, it had been sustained until recently.
Thus, it has to be admitted that the Greenpeace with their theory of a man as a part of the great world and the nature as it is has contributed greatly to forming the contemporary idea of the world and people’s place in it. Shifting our positions from observers to active participants in the processes of natural evolution, we have become a piece of the world, which has already had its effect on the way people treat the environment.
Associating the world as a piece of them, people have finally managed to cognize a small part of what is called the Nature. Following the footsteps of the Greenpeace activists, people have finally learned what is to feel an integral part of nature.
As Lopez put it, “One learns a landscape finally not by knowing the name or identity of everything in it, but by perceiving the relationships in it-like that between the sparrow and the twig.” (64-65). Unless the mankind hadn’t followed the wise piece of Lopez/s advice, no further improvements could be possible.
However, as soon as they managed to “Draw on the smell of creosote bush, or clack stones together in the dry air. Feel how light is the desiccated dropping of the kangaroo rat. Study an animal track obscured by the wind,” (Lopez 65) it has become possible to take responsibility of the world we live in. Only understanding what it takes to restore the cycle of life, people have finally managed to seize the “singe aspect that land contains” (Lopez 71).
However, such cheerful result does not mean that the struggle for the adfe environment is over. Considering the latest events in the world, it becomes evident that the Greenpeace activists have a long way to go to create a safer environment and provide a link between people and nature. No matter how painstaking these efforts can be, at present the game is worth the candles, since the situation is becoming increasingly threatening.
Infusing media politics into its strategy (Dale 198), Greenpeace is able now to demonstrate their achievements, further plans and considerations all over the world to help people get the basic notion of what is happening to the world. In spite of the fact that there are quite complicated processes concerning the organization reconstruction are going on within Greenpeace, it can be suggested with certainty that Greenpeace will play a central part in restoring the nature in the nearest future.
Dale, Stephen. McLuhan’s Children: the Greenpeace Message and the Media. Toronto, CA: Between the Lines, 1996. Print.
Emerson, Waldo Ralph. Nature and Language. New York, NY: John Munroe and Company, 1849. Print.
Leopold, Aldo. “Thinking Like a Mountain.” The Earthscan Reader in Sustainable Agriculture. Ed. Jules N. Pretty. London, UK: Earthscan, 2005. 10-11. Print.
Lopez, Barry. “Landscape and Narrative.” Crossing Open Ground. New York, NY: A Division of Random House, Inc. 1989. 61-73. Print.
Macy, Joanna. World as Lover, World as Self. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press, 1991. Print.
Pepper, David. Environmentalism: Critical Concepts. New York, NY: Routledge, 2003. Print.
Plumwood, Val. Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason. New York, NY: Routledge, 2002. Print.
Weyler, Rex. Greenpeace: How a Group of Journalists, Ecologists and Visionaries Changed the World. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 2004. Print.