In one of my in Dutch written posts on LinkedIn I wrote about “De Duurzamen“, the title of part 7/8 in a popular anthropological high standard Dutch TV documentary serial. Several environmental movements, those who live according to the principles of sustainability, are highlighted. In this documentary the Ecomodernism movement was also presented as one of them. What exactly is Ecomodernism? Who are they, who are named “ecomodernisten” in Netherlands, “ecomodernists”, and are they really fitting within the idea about sustainability? This post has also been published in Dutch. I have done my utmost to translate all into English, and forgive me if I do not write it perfect.
Ecomodernists say that
Environmental movements are:
- Too critical about the impact of modernity and progress for the environment.
- Too critical on the role of man in relation to nature, and they think too much in terms of restrictions of human action that might be necessary.
- Too critical about the disadvantages of technology and economics to the environment.
- Too negative about the future of nature and overly positive about nature itself.
Is this true? No! It is totally wrong. I will explain this in the following paragraphs.
Two categories sustainables
There is obviously not an English term for those who belong to the sustainable movements. I will name them here “sustainables”.
There are two categories: the “old fashioned” and “modern” sustainables. The word sustainable means, however, that it is taking responsibility for life not only in the nearby, but even more for the quality of life in the far future. Sustainability is a kind of (in this case) in-built guarantee for the preservation of nature, values, ethics, biodiversity and quality of life, for, and of all living: man as part of the whole , in a set of intertwined chains which are all necessary for the well being of all life forms, with the human being as a part of this wholeness.
This means that Ecomodernists do not fit in the sustainability principle, because they consider man as the only really important being. If all life-forms are put together in a circle Ecomodernists want the human being in the center the circle: this is anthropocentrism. Man as the King of Creation. The connection between a sustainable human being and nature is a prerequisite for the true sustainable. Nature is far away for the ecomodernist. Nature is not a real basic necessity of life. An ecomodernist can be compared with the urban man, and how he relates to life outside the city, outside the gates of his one-sided, paved thinking. The connection with nature is in fact not (really) there, and therefore the (as the ecomodernists name them) “old fashioned” future-planners are the real sustainable ones, the real sustainables.
Ecomodernism leads to further alienation between man and nature and without a reverse eventually to total alienation. Ecomodernism is an invention of those who have quit, who have stopped the battle against greed: man at the top of their economical religion-pyramid.
Spending time in nature for a short time, or maybe lesser, is not sufficient to transform the created and growing alienation, to melt the layers of ice that have frozen (corrupted) the own naturalness. This is needed to connect from the true inner self with nature around. Humans are originally natural beings, but the most are disconnected because of rationalism.
The significance of wilderness
Before I traveled to Norway I had never been in a “wilderness”. In Norway wilderness is still present but is threatened by false visions, or rather lack of vision. What is “wilderness”?
It is a vast area of authentic, undisturbed wildlife, in which man has not yet been, and if so: no, or hardly, traces of his presence can be noticed. Wilderness is not necessarily a tropical jungle, a rain forest with lush green, an abundance of trees, vines and plants. The Norwegian wilderness is abundant in another way. Norway does not have many kinds of trees, even a very limited number of species because of the extreme winter cold, that starts in October and ends in May. However, the Norwegian wilderness is exceptionally rich in vegetation with low plants and shrubs, mosses, ferns. Vastness as a mind-blowing eye-opener, also the inner eyes: an awakening, a liberation from a dream world, which is in fact an imprisoned inner world, imprisoned in a forced social life, society rules, and culture, in which what “is”: an intense and healing realism, in a setting of mountains, plateaus, rocks, granite, water, lakes, rivers, wind, storm or stillness, power, energy . Absolute human-less. Absolute absence of modern human sounds. No internet connection. The Earth’s magnetic field is so strong that you will be recharged by it, embraced by it, and lifted spiritually. The contrast of the Norwegian wilderness with the Netherlands and the permanently present noise pollution, stress, crowds, road rage, air pollution, electrosmog, everywhere, is so huge that the essence of nature really hits you deeply, in all cells: it is mind blowing. It made me realize for the first time what it means “to be”, who I really am, though I was completely dissolving in an all-one-ness. For the first time not alone, while I was physically completely alone there.
I know by experience whereof I speak, also considering the difference between green in a village or city, green in nature and green in what is really nature: the wilderness. I know also by experience the difference between a national park in the Netherlands and a national park in Norway. Because of these deep, intense experiences, by contrast, I can analyse both and know the differences between them. Therefore I categorize the ecomodernists on the site with the title: the fake-sustainables, a group that has never found it, because they quit when searching, battling, making concessions now in order not to lose luxury, or to make some steps backward for the benefit of life on earth.
Only those who have real economic insight and know how progress can be achieved can respond to the new problems, and dare to let go.
The ecomodernists cling to not blissful luxury, and this makes them old-fashioned. The concept of economics as it is used throughout the world can not grow forever, unless it is at the expense of the quality of life in the future, and that means literally that the economy as the ecomodernists adhere, do NOT meet the principles of sustainability. Their activities even undermine sustainability.
Shallow Ecology versus Deep Ecology
It is the Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss (1912-2009), who outlines the difference between “shallow ecology” and “deep ecology”, between fake ecologists and true ecologists. Deep Ecologists emanate from the idea that all life-forms are interconnected. He calls this “deep ecology”. Arne Næss mentions the idea of man, as drawn by ecomodernists and anthropocentrists, as the main reason why everything went wrong. We will face the total catastrophe if humans do not rapidly move away from this misconception.
Full awareness of what is taking place at this time, is the missing factor in politics and science. Even the ecomodernist denies the steady execution of the total catastrophe in everyday’s reality. He believes that it is not too bad, not too bad with wars, with the decay of society, and so much more.
He is against the, what he thinks, religion-related attitude and way of thinking in the “old fashioned” environmental movements, but is not aware that he himself uses the biblical concept of man, and thus religious preaching about man and his place in All-Creation. The ecomodernist considers (but does not see this) “economy”, as it functions now as a successful philosophy of a financial system, practiced in all countries of the world, saving the planet, with endless possibilities. This is what makes ecomodernism a religion, exactly that, what he blames the “old fashioned” and in his eyes “obsolete” environmental movements. Economy is God. Ecomodernists talk about the Anthropocene, that it has started, and will grow. Again, a misinterpretation of reality: the Anthropocene stops, has to stop, it’s time the human being, anthropos, steps down from his self-created and appropriated throne. The ecomodernist contributes to an ultimately unlivable world and thus places ecomodernism outside the concept of sustainability.
Economy, ecology, sustainability
Economy is, as mentioned, a philosophy based on theories that are tested every new day in the reality in which you and I are animals in the laboratory of the political state.
For sustainability we need exact figures in economy and politics, exact calculations, common sense, not dreamers and dream numbers. One and one is two, there is no need for complicated formulas to learn this. As Plato and Socrates wrote before: the household of a simple housewife is exactly the same as that of the government, and the Minister of Finance. What is not there can not be spent. A household is a micro-state. Common sense is generally lacking. It’s, like ethics, forgotten. “Old-fashioned”.
Fake scientists: a veiled form of lack of true knowledge and insight, missing the total view and ethics; a new form of criminality; poor captains on the Titanic named Climate Change, and pesticides pollution
Economists, professors in economy, create huge, serious, catastrophic mistakes. Think about Greece, where the MP himself was advised by a professor of economics who created in six months billions of euros new debts in Greece, by his own mistake, by incompetence, by absence of professionalism, by even utterly poor amateurism. That professor is now the president of a new European movement. According to the latest reports this political “democratic” movement grows rapidly, and yes, the media offer the person the attention he wants, even the Dutch media. He has proved to be a narcissist, not interested in people. That’s facade. Unless all aspects of observing and listening, reading, logic deep-thinking, are analyzed and kept in mind, only then it is possible to understand what has really been said, sometimes easy, almost nonchalant, then feigned seriously, pretending having knowledge, proving however, over time, to think without any depth, proving to be a populist.
Intelligent? Also this is intelligence, but a wrong one and in a shameless version. In theory everything is possible, but washing dishes (to name something easy to understand) is in reality totally different from writing or talking about it. He tells what one likes to hear, it is populist beautiful, incredibly beautiful. Words as drugs. This happened also in the thirties of the former century. But…., he is a professor, and is therefore placed on a pedestal. He even graduated in Game Theory. Read about it and “get shocked.” People are used to game with, game material. He did it with the Greeks. They will never recover from what he caused. He is a persona non grata in Greece, and found a new challenge: Europe. Europe is so easy to be mislead.
Dr. Henk Tennekes, toxicologist, considers scientists as humans, who should be aware of the knowledge they misuse, when cooperating with (being an employee of) multinationals like for instance Monsanto and Bayer, who create pesticides, who want to create pesticides that fit exactly in what goverments have decided about it. Legal criminality, where all life is dying from, finally. There should be a law, that forces universities to demand a vow from the student before he or she is going to finish his or her studies, not to misuse the knowledge for what is destructive for life in general. I fully agree with this idea and would make even one step more: to check new students and lecturers, for their ideas about ethics, before they enter a university. Those who fail should not get the permission to start a study, or to start lecturing.
Ecomodernism, a new religion
Ecomodernists are mainly problems denying theorists, and in practice they have become a group of taking things too easily, too simple. The spokesman of the Dutch ecomodernists even clearly told that he does NOT know exactly what nature is: I assume he has never been in a natural environment, or his senses are not developed, or he is in, what is called denial. Ecomodernists are burying their heads in the sand. They have talked themselves asleep, and one believes what one dreams about, while sleeping. Positive thinking is not positive thinking within that context: it is fooling oneself and others. When scientists are joining the ecomodernism movement, more and more naive ones will follow, assuming all is true, because scientists know, they have studied and master in knowing. This is how religions work. Scientists as bishops of a church filled with believers. Even science is a religion. (My blog: Multerland.)
Modern? No, sleeping people are not modern, they have always been there.
“Eco” does not fit either, unless it is eco belonging to economy, the golden cow in the Old Testament, the Bible, also old, and that cow has proved to be unbeatable: it appears all the time in another outfit. Now humanity kneels down for the modern version, it is named greed, and everywhere present, it fills the computer screens, the media, the cities, public transport, everything, constantly, people are hypnotized by it, because it awakens greed in all humans, it was sleeping in the dark side of the human being. Greed can only be stopped globally when it stops in all human beings, in each single human being. Those who worship this modern golden cow even dare to state: “Those who do not participate, who are against the cow, adhere to a religion.”
- Utterly naive and amateurish about the environmental situation of today.
- Old fashioned on the role of man in relation to nature. They do not think realistic in terms of restrictions of human action, which are utterly necessary.
- Naive concerning the effects and side effects of technology and economics on the environment.
- Dangerous for the future of nature because of the absence of understanding nature itself, and the absence of feeling, knowing, their own connection with it.
- Ecomodernists are in the most positive way of analyzing: Shallow Ecologists, but in fact not even ecologists, but narrow minded economists. New word: egomodernism, egologists, egonomists.
For updates about sustainability, climate change, nature, environment, biodynamic agriculture, pesticides, etc. you can visit me on Twitter.
- Wiki: Ecomodernism
- Wiki: Anthropocene
- VPRO: De Hokjesman Ecomodernisten: van 27:54 in de uitzending tot 31:18
- Wiki: De Hokjesman (The Pigeonhole Man)
- Deep Ecology: Arne Næss
- Arne Næss: Shallow Ecology versus Deep Ecology
- Toxicologist Dr. Henk Tennekes
- Twitter account Dr. Henk Tennekes
- Multerland photos: Hallingskarvet
- Multerland photos: albums