As Editor of The Enviropaedia and actively involved in environmental conservation since youth, I am aware that the facts about the destruction we have been wreaking on our natural environment – have been clearly articulated and repeatedly communicated for many years in many ways – books, films and TV shows.

Yet, the response from Governments, Companies and the Public – has been consistently, hopelessly inadequate.

 

We must therefore recognise that if what we have been doing is not working, then we must change what we are doing. In looking at the messages that scientists and environmentalists have been sending out, I see that most have been variations of the same theme – warnings about the damage that we are causing to the Earth and alarming scenarios about the potential effects on human beings. These warnings have focussed on the consequences of our actions ( the environmental effects – pollution, poaching and climate change ), but have not addressed the underlying causes of our actions – the thinking patterns and value systems (our operating logic) that drive our behaviour – which in turn result  in the negative consequences that scientists and environmentalists have been shouting about.

 

Through conversations with national and international environmental thinkers I have therefore distilled what I believe to be the roots of the destructive thinking patterns, belief systems and values that have created our current dilemmas and then identified the alternative values and thinking patterns that stimulate and support an intelligent, evolved and ecologically aware behaviour – to support and facilitate a happier, safer and more sustainable planet to live on.

Some of these roots of destructive vs constructive operating logic are summarised as follows:

EGO-LOGICAL ROOTS

ECO-LOGICAL ROOTS

Short-term. Being motivated by profits today and instant gratification of wants and wishes. Long term (Economic & Political) strategy. Balancing  today’s wants and wishes against our ability to meet tomorrow’s needs.
Self-Centric. Not recognising or being willing to see and accept response-ability for the effects of our actions on the wellbeing of other (human and non-human) individuals and communities. Care for Community – Recognising that we are part of a human & non human community and that our individual wellbeing and survival is dependent on the wellbeing of the community.
Material Greed.  Unbridled material self gratification – which has resulted in about 20% of the world’s population consuming about 80% of the world’s resources. Appreciation of non material assets – Maturing beyond a purely materialistic perspective, to value other human assets including; knowledge; intellect; cultural refinement; spiritual and emotional wisdom. With less focus on materiality one can then ‘live more simply so that others can simply live’
Insular A lack of awareness and understanding of the inter-connectedness and inter-dependence of Earth’s systems and the potential effects that individual actions can have on the whole system. Holistic – Looking at the ‘bigger picture’, seeing the inter-connectedness of all things and taking into consideration the potential (positive and negative) knock-on effects of our actions.
Dogma, Tradition & Habit repression of new ideas, fear of unknown, inconvenience of change. Open Mindedness and Innovation – being willing to adapt to a rapidly changing world and find innovative commercial opportunities to respond to such changes..
Disconnection with Nature –  resulting in a harsh mechanistic / commodity perspective of Nature and consequent mis-treatment of Nature Reconnection with Nature – resulting in physical and emotional harmonisation with Nature and the material advantages of Biomimicry + ‘Blue economy’ thinking.
Quantity based Consumer culture (More, more and more) A shallow and misguided value system that implies that the more you have, consume and own, the higher your position in society – thus driving unsustainable levels of consumption. Quality and Ethical Consumer culture – recognising the advantages of Quality over Quantity in terms of  a products effectiveness for purpose, durability and natural resources used. Recognising that ‘less can be more’

The concept of Eco-Logic is explained in greater detail in The Enviropaedia book and online at www.enviropaedia.com.

 

A further and probably most important change that we need to make is to step away from a doom and gloom mentality. We need to inspire and empower a different behaviour. We need to evolve and uplift our consciousness. We need to identify an Eco-Logical W.I.L.L (World I would Love to Live in) a vision and ambition to create a beautiful, sustainable world – that will motivate us to go out and create a new reality.

See also http://scenicsouth.co.za//2012/10/2012-eco-logic-awards-green-glitterati-and-sniffer-dogs/

 David Parry-Davies

The Enviropaedia
Tel: 0861 000 810
Cell: +27 82 331 9877
Email:david@enviropaedia.com