The global ecological crisis is the largest challenge which humanity has ever had to face (Gare, 2017). Besides, abusing the natural resources, our present method of consumption and production of goods, all modeled on economic production and not based on bio-capability, is jeopardizing the living conditions of humans, yet simultaneously changing the social foundations of human beings. International threats and dangers evolved when the social fabric of the ecological and social system exceeds and supersedes its environmental counterpart. Global environmental or ecological threats and dangers are not just social-psycho constructs created for promoting a new method of social regulation on the people. They are the result of an economic development model wherein environmental deficiencies are being shared by everyone, while the financial benefits would be helpful to some and it shall change our planet for a considerable period. The most probable global cataclysmic threats and dangers seem to emerge from human actions, particularly resulting from new modern technologies and industrialization (Heurtebise, 2017). The success of the agenda of neo-liberalism, along with a dissipated ‘scientism’, has diminished people and nature to just being consumers, instruments, and raw materials which would be proficiently handled in an international market governed by technocrats, media, and corporate heads. The resulting path that creates global environmental or ecological damage seems unstoppable, and neither environmental movements nor governments have changed this, or in reality, seem ready for it (Gare, 2017).
Ecological civilization is a novel notion in the progress of human civilization. Ecological civilization refers to organizational, spiritual, and material accomplishments in supporting the laws for compatible natural, social, and human growth. Ecological civilization is an ideology and ethical morality. It has an understanding of the sustainable development and harmonious co-operation among people. It also acknowledges sustainable growth and compatible co-existence between nature and society and between nature and people, signaling the growth of human civilization (UNEP, 2016). The original clear-cut use of the concept of ecological civilization originated from the book ‘Ecological Democracy’ written by Roy Morrison wherein the author argued that: “an ecological civilization would be based on three support systems such as harmony, balance, and democracy” (Heurtebise, 2017). This notion of ecological civilization reinforces and intensifies the sustainable development theory, creating strong practices and innovations for promoting the progress of civilization to an advanced level. The important demand of ecological civilization is the fact that nature should be safeguarded, assimilated and respected. Clear, clean water and hills which are green should be considered as precious valuables. The obsolete perspective is that people could vanquish nature and disregard the bearing limit of assets. The obsolete perspective is that the environment could be totally neglected. Reliable efforts have to be made to live in unity with nature, permitting for a novel way to deal with modernization distinguished by co-existence (UNEP, 2016).
When compared to the modern-day ecological disaster, global warming is enough for creating an end to life on this earth. Environmental changes, the standard common name for global warming results from the heavy and real human impression on earth. This menace, the human dependence on gas, oil, and coal, is pernicious to human well-being and to survive in the long haul. An earth, which is very hot or warm, would be antagonistic to life in the oceans and seas, forests, ecosystems, wildlife, drinking water, and agriculture. A few nations would vanish. The inhabitants of various nations would be compelled to move, thereby, creating terrible ecological imprints and unending wars (Vallianatos, 2012).
Enforcing of ecological rights determines subsistence rights: if water is being contaminated, there is no right to safe drinking water; if food is being contaminated, there is no right to eat safe food; and if the environment is disrespected, there is no right to shelter. Hence, according to this understanding, subsistence rights are an ecological right. It means the right to live in a domain wherein human-produced environmental dangers would be limited — as expressed in the Stockholm Declaration brought out in the year 1972. The future and present generations right to live in a situation which is enough for his/her well-being and health assume that the “rights about accessing information, open interest, and participating in making decisions, and accessing justice on ecological issues” is given to all (Heurtebise, 2017).
Groundwater might be polluted with pesticides. In Costa Rica, for instance, the pineapple estates use organochlorines, organophosphates, chemicals and hormone disruptors which create cancer. What’s more, it isn’t only the local water and laborers, which get polluted — but also the products which people tend to eat. Around 94% of the imported pineapples from Costa Rica to Britain had “deposits of fungicide triadimefon, which is a poison and a disruptor of hormones” (Magdoff, 2011).
Karl Marx stated that during the earlier periods of capitalist advancement, the loss of soil’s long-lasting fertility had been due to ‘net exports of the nutrients’ since people moved (or compelled to move out) to urban areas. This formed what Marx described as a rift in the interrelated procedure of social metabolism, which was irreparable — a metabolism endorsed by life’s natural laws. However, several of the agricultural systems carried out on a large-scale were in fact not effective against cycling the nutrients for various other reasons. Large quantities of nitrogen fertilizers would be lost in developing corn on several farms, while nitrate filters into underground water, which would then pollute the rivers and streams. A small, however, an important amount of soil nitrogen would get changed over to nitrous oxide and spread into the environment wherein it becomes a powerful greenhouse gas, and furthermore, in the stratosphere, it would ruin its ozone level (Magdoff, 2011).
Another significant problem with the agricultural capitalist systems is of the substandard levels of treatment meted out to the working class. Migrant laborers, particularly those from other nations, have fewer rights and are usually regarded as slaves. Further, farm workers along with their families are usually intensely polluted with pesticides. The situations of the working force on agricultural plantations that are of large-scale, particularly in Asia, Latin America, and Africa, are the most exploited ones. The working class is very often paid meager wages. Firing or violence would be carried out to prevent any form or unionization, and pesticides (banned in the developed nations) are freely used, creating serious health issues (Magdoff, 2011).
Ecologists across the world have been opposing businesses and governments: cautioning them that incessant contamination would be a risk for human health, a risk for animals, birds, and most important the earth. A few governments have passed regulatory legislation against development. Similar to the US, a few nations also make the claim that they have organizations for protecting the environment. In Nairobi, Kenya, the UN has its Environmental Program. China, the largest country in the world, is trying to find a way of recovering its age-old conventions on ecological civilization (Vallianatos, 2012).
Living in unison with nature creates firmly coupled water flows, energy, and nutrients, and conserving the operations of the natural flows and cycles. For having environmental stability, civilizations need to form a new ideology and culture focused on basic principles, like substantive equity. It needs to: (1) offer a suitable human presence to all: recreational and cultural possibilities, education, clothing, housing, healthcare, sanitation, clean water, and food; (2) remove the control or command of people by others; (3) promoting community and labor regulation over farms, factories, and other working environments; (4) making easier the recalling of the people who get elected; and (5) re-making co-operation between natural systems and people in all parts of life, inclusive of farming, transportation, industry, and living situations. Further, by being focused only on private vehicles or an important system of transportation; an ecological civilization cannot exist. Despite, how energy-efficient the trucks and cars are the use of trains and buses as the important system of transportation would be more fuel-efficient. Biological diversity should get promoted with more intricate farming systems that would stress upon forming nourishing soils and by the improved consolidation of fewer natural territories in the urban and rural areas (Magdoff, 2011).
Taking into consideration our current situation, it might be insincere to disregard the real and existent dangers of the modern-day civilization. Ecological civilizations would rely on generating a suitable human, ecological and social metabolism, which would enable the society to constantly satisfy the ecological and human requirements. Creating an ecological civilization which is socially just and fair would not occur so. It would happen only with a consistent cautiousness and concerted activity, or movement of an active and involved population.
Gare, A. (2017). The Philosophical Foundations of Ecological Civilization: A manifesto for the future. New York: Routledge.
Heurtebise, J.Y. (2017). Sustainability and Ecological Civilization in the Age of Anthropocene: An Epistemological Analysis of the Psychosocial and “Culturalist” Interpretations of Global Environmental Risks. Sustainability, 9(8), 1-17.
Magdoff, F. (2011). Ecological Civilization. Global Research, Retrieved from https://www.globalresearch.ca/ecological-civilization/22701
UNEP. (2016). Ecological Civilization: A national strategy for innovative, concerted, green, open and inclusive development. Retrieved from http://web.unep.org/ourplanet/march-2016/articles/ecological-civilization
Vallianatos, E. (2012). Is Ecological Civilization Possible?” Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/evaggelos-vallianatos/is-ecological-civilizatio_b_1868765.html