What's Best for the Environment?

1051 Words5 Pages
What is best for the environment? Edward O. Wilson’s book The Future of Life takes a satirical look at the two views of what the world needs and how they relate to humans. He alludes to the anthropocentric desires of “people- first” supporters, and the goals and solutions of left-wing environmentalists. Wilson portrays substantial rifts between the two groups which ultimately produce ineffective results due to the fact that they maintain preexisting stereotypes of their “opposition”, entirely distinct goals, and solutions which seek different sectors of development. When solving a problem of dispute, one of the greatest boundaries to overcome is preexisting notions about one group’s opposition. Wilson outlines three definitive misconceptions that both parties maintain about the other. Chiefly: derogatory terms, their political orientation, and their goals in power. He begins his different narratives with a list of names to describe the resistance- “…greens, enviros… wackos…” for the people-first group to describe environmentalists, and “brown lashers” and “wise users” for environmentalists to refer to the People-First group. These terms represent the misconception of both parties in their beliefs that all people who support these causes fall within these terms. This is promoted when Wilson speaks on behalf of the People- Firsts and says that an environmentalist “…always comes from the left, usually far left.” Not only does he automatically align them with the liberal party, but he labels them as extremists meaning that a person speaking on behalf of this position can never consider the counter-argument “normal.” This same pattern appears in the environmentalist’s stance in which they reference to their resistance’s “…right wi... ... middle of paper ... ...illing to believe in the premise of the other’s arguments, making discussion about consensus measures doomed to failure. Wilson’s satirical analysis uses grandiose generalizations to force the readers to consider what these stereotypes accomplish. By contrasting the two positions with a consideration of each other, Wilson effectively establishes a similar scenario to the debates faced by both groups in the real world. This situation produces a theoretical world for the audience to place each party’s arguments against their opposition’s and to see how they each indicate the same problems- yet never produced a diplomatic solution. The “unproductiveness” of these exchanges, the reader recognizes, is in the cyclical nature of the factions. What is left for Wilson to discuss is whether either will concede a point to produce what really is “best for the environment.”
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