Publicador de contenidos

Back to 23_01_25_OPI_eyP_ecologismo

Banner environmentalism


Published in

Diario de Navarra and El Diario Montañés

Gerardo Castillo Ceballos

School of Education and Psychology of the University of Navarra

Ecology is the part of biology that studies the relationships of living beings with each other and with the environment in which they live. It is the scientific basis of ecologism, a movement that seeks the universal ecological awareness of human beings, to achieve harmony and the rescue of the natural environment. Ecology tells us that all species are interrelated among themselves and with their environment, forming ecosystems.

Lately, a supposed ecologism that is not linked to ecology and, therefore, anti-scientific, has been spreading. This is what J. M. Mullet, biochemist and Full Professor of Biotechnology, refers to in his book "Real Ecologism". The degree scroll already tells us that there is a false environmentalism that must be unmasked. No less significant is the subtitle: "Everything that science says you can do to conserve the planet and the ecologists will never tell you". The author is sample very critical of environmental organizations, to which he attributes little or no scientific basis and some of whose proposals can have harmful results for ecosystems.

I think that a clear and graphic way to understand it is to baptize it as a "banner environmentalism", which is recognized by its frequent errors reported in the media. Let's look at two of them.

The commercialization of American bison meat had to fight for many years against an environmentalist modesty. People believed that eating bison meat contributed to the extinction of the species, but the truth is that the issue of specimens did not stop declining until the meat found a suitable niche in restaurants and hamburger joints. Today, eating a bison steak is the best action that can be taken to protect the future of the animal.

The Councilor for the Environment of Castilla y León, Juan Carlos Suárez Quiñones, has blamed the ecologists for the recent forest fires in the Community. He attributed the great virulence of the latest fires to the reduced agricultural activity and to new environmentalist fashions regarding the non-cleaning of riverbanks and forests.

The banner environmentalism becomes more radical and nonconformist with conservationist policies when it incorporates ecocentrism, a current of thought that defends that the development of the human being is given through sustainable consumption: man should only consume and produce that amount of goods and services that is not at odds with the environment. It would not be acceptable, for example, to cut down forests or build swamps. He alludes to humanity as the cancer of nature.

Ecocentric environmentalism differs from anthropocentric environmentalism in that the former gives priority to the conservation of species and ecosystems over the conservation of individuals, including human beings, while the latter gives priority to human beings over the conservation of species and ecosystems. It is enough to read some of the typical phrases on the banners of any environmentalist demonstration to see their ecocentrism: "respect mother earth"; "the earth is screaming and you don't want to listen to her"; "homos sapiens, false gods who destroy the planet". These ecologists have turned environmentalism into a pantheistic religion, in which the new god is Mother Earth, in which people worship animals and embrace trees. This ecological religion, with its dogmas and anathemas, seeks to replace scientific thinking.

Today it is urgent to cultivate a humanist ecologism, centered on the person; a coherent ecologism that proposes to take care of animals and plants not for their own sake, but for the good of man. It would be incoherent to treat animals and plants well and humans badly. The new Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church states that "if we must avoid the error of reducing nature to merely utilitarian terms, according to which it is only something to be exploited, we must also avoid going to the other extreme by making it an absolute value. An ecocentric vision of the environment falls into the error of putting all living beings on the same level, ignoring the qualitative difference between human beings, based on their dignity as human persons, and other creatures. The core topic to avoid such errors is to maintain a transcendent vision.