top of page
  • Writer's

Environmental Absolutism won't work, and your keyboard ecology doesn't help either.

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

I see it all the time, working within science communications.

"The solution to **."

"The solution to the climate emergency is to **."

"** is the biggest environmental problem of our time".

I cannot think of a single environmental problem that is caused by one problem. Declining bees is due to a handful of reasons known, and probably 50 more that we don't know about yet. Dying reefs are caused by changing climate, pollution in the water, being blown up for fishing, over tourism and many many more. If an environmental scientist was to think in absolutes, we would never solve extremely multifaceted problems.

We are taught to think HOLISTICALLY to tackle issues. How can the social issues be dealt with, to reduce some aspects, how can we address the wider societal issues. How can we reduce run off, promote better fishing, composting, ecotourism. And even now this is something that can CERTAINLY still be improved within science.

Our diets play a huge role in our footprint, but saying veganism is THE way to solve not just sustainable diets but the climate emergency is complete naive and short sighted to many social, health, economic and environmental problems with current diets.

Similarly, saying consumer change is useless, that we should focus on corporate change completely undermines the power of consumer choice (... the number of times a large corporate producer has told me they will only change through consumer demand). Similarly, our everyday efforts pale in comparison to corporate pollution. But BOTH a relevant and both working together will make progress in our environmental problems. We need policy change in place to enforce better action whilst we also demand it with our consumer voice.

Every single person on the planet is different. Every single person is on a different part of a journey to environmnetalism- and that's assuming they're even on an environmental journey. What is available to everybody is different. What can be afforded will be different for every person. How can we begin to suggest singular solutions for a HUGELY complex system?

So next time you tell somebody "the only way we can solve the climate emergency is to..." "we shouldn't worry about ** until we solve **" just remember, absolutism in environmentalism is naive, lazy and frankly pretty ignorant.

I am done for ding what we can. And for all of us that will be different.


bottom of page