The environment today has been the focus of tremendous debate among plenty of our world leaders. Various issues related to it have been raised. Never has the subject of the environment been more talked about than today. It is vital for everyone to get into the discussion as it affects all of us. Therefore, it is necessary to take a stand on a particular environmental worldview. The Western worldview offers the stand that humans are the most superior beings on the planet and that they have the right to devour as much natural resources as they can to support their goal of accumulating more wealth (“Worldviews”, p. 30). Not only is this view arrogant, but also dangerous. Looking back at recent history, we can see that the environment does fight back – landslides, flash floods, heat waves, and more. On the other side of the spectrum, we have the deep ecology worldview. This posits that humans are equal with other living things on the planet and that they have the responsibility to preserve the environment’s richness to achieve a nurturing relationship with it (“Worldviews”, p. 31). Though seemingly ideal, this view must be rejected because humans are in fact not equal with other living things. To adhere to this view is to curtail human development.
A balance between the two worldviews is needed. Man’s right to maximize his existence by attaining a high standard of living should not be a threat to the environment. Nor should the environment’s preservation be a threat to man’s development. Thus, we must align our goals for wealth and technological advancement to the environment. After all, it is the environment that makes it possible for us to move forward. The Western worldview of unlimited use of natural resources would be irresponsible as this would only stop man’s progress as resources become scarce. As the environment provides us with what we need, so should we give back to it by developing the right technology for it to survive and thus, we would be creating a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship with the environment.
Human progress and the preservation of the environment are not direct dichotomies. We need not choose one from the other.