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Have we failed the environmental movement?

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Environmentalism has fundamentally failed, according one of the most noted environmentalists of our time.

David Suzuki believes that we, as a species, have not come to grips with how the world is changing around us.

Suzuki states that 50 years after the environmental movement was founded, it has succeeded in raising awareness and changing many practices.

“But we were so focused on battling opponents and seeking public support that we failed to realize these battles reflect fundamentally different ways of seeing our place in the world. And it is our deep underlying worldview that determines the way we treat our surroundings,” he writes in his blog.

Suzuki believes we still see ourselves as the centre of a world with unlimited resources, with environmentalism treated as a special interest that is trumped by the economy.

On the street, there is a lot of agreement with Suzuki’s grim assertions.

“We have huge SUVs, huge trucks, diesel engines; the more power the better. Basically, our consumption has gone through the roof in terms of oil, plastic use [and] everything like that and it’s not going to change. It’s almost as if we were born that way; it’s innate in us to just want to consume more and more,” says Jovan, who feels society is not moving fast enough to counter changes to the environment.

“I definitely agree with [Suzuki],” adds Puspa. “We need to save this planet, otherwise we will be nowhere. It is serious and we are just not paying enough attention.”

Suzuki feels society still must make a very basic shift and start realizing we are just an interconnected part of life on the planet, not the centre of it.

“It’s almost a clichĂ© to refer to a ‘paradigm shift,’ but that is what we need to meet the challenge of the environmental crisis our species has created. That means adopting a ‘biocentric’ view that recognizes we are part of and dependent on the web of life that keeps the planet habitable for a demanding animal like us,” he writes.