Virginia Elena Patrone

MAY’S EDITORIAL – Broaden the spectrum of the discussions on the environment

Aldo Leopold, one of the early contributors of the environmental philosophy branch, in his essay “The Sand Country Almanac” (1949) writes: “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise”. And I personally very much agree with his idea: it is not right to separate the wellbeing of the animals and of the natural world –what Leopold defines the biotic community– from any action of thoughts we are dealing with everyday. I am a person that in her private and professional life is interested in the environment. So, besides thinking of it, I try to live in accordance to what I believe to be right, even regarding the smallest actions of my daily life chores. I try to approach them with Leopold’s perspective: holistically. I do my best, I do what I think should be done by any inhabitant of the globe, in order to best functioning in their daily life having also in mind the health of the planet we are guested on, and the wellbeing of all the other alive species that populate it. Thinking about the environment is not the only thing I do, although I think a lot about it. Mainly, I think, and this is the basic action for all the many projects that I pursue, while my thoughts can cover many different topics, since I don’t only focus on environmental issues or ecology. But. But, in most of the subjects you approach, more you go deep into them, more you recognize that the unbalance and the disharmony between the humans and their habitat is part of the issue or even sometimes the cause of it. And although I am very convinced about this idea, what I observe is that the issues that are linked to the environment are always taken as a separate problem from all the rest, and people who are interested in it are grouped and catalogued into a niche; they are labelled something like the “environmentalists” and thus we are prone to believe that thinking about the environment is the only thing they do. This is right and wrong at the same time. From one side it is right, because as soon as you understand the critical situation we are now living on our planet, then you cannot deny your attention on this topic – the environment. On the other hand it is wrong, because those ones that may be defined as the “environmentalists” may also have other interests, connected or not with their will to fairly live on a clean Earth. What I believe to be important is the understanding that the topics regarding the environment cannot be detached by most of the things we are discussing or doing every day, but they need to be part of them. Having a holistic perspective in mind is then necessary to include the discussions that regard the environment where they belong: everywhere.

 

Image of the author. Title: “The difficult job: living with grace”.

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