Reply To: 2. Wed 12 Feb: Donald Worster on Environmental History

Author Replies # Posted on February 16, 2015 at 21:26

Ghide Habtetsion Gebremichael
Reflection of Current debates 1st seminar
Donald Worster
15 February 2015

Is climate change movement ( green movement, intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) and other environmental NGOs) real? What about some of the world scientists currently argue that CO2 is not the real cause of global warming? Rather they said it has more advantageous for plant and vegetation growth. These were some of the questions I get the privilege to ask Donald Wonster. And he argued me that “if you are still in a middle of street it is better to be in one side”. He expressed his pessimism on the world argument towards climate change either of political propaganda or economic advantage. He argues also the history of me and my family on the southern plains in 1930s is enough to witness the environmental crisis. Though his argument looks pessimistic, it explicitly signifies changing perception towards climate change is inevitable and unfortunate fact. He discussed also natural disaster is as a result of human irresponsibility not of God’s will. And basically this also notified in Old Testament of Bible that when Adam was thrown away from the Garden of Eden.
Donald Worster’s main arguments were taking into account of our food and the environment, agriculture and overproduction, demanding of energy and scarcity of resources. He talked also about the discoveries of new world changed and how it changes our perception. “ if we going to solve the current environmental problem, we have to change our perception” said Worster while he was explaining environmental history is not a field by itself but a way of changing perception and viewing towards nature in a new paradigm.
He also expressed the idea of capitalism overpowered the view of over production, thus environmental crisis is the result. His argument embedded deductively from his personal experience of the Southern Plains in 1950s and late 1960s. But I would like to argue him that too pessimistic statement might let an actors or societal group to neglect of climate issues. At the same time he was not clear in which way we have to change our view. His statement at some point looks like open ended and very controversial. He tries to justify the human limit and the final destination but he didn’t deliver some light of hope in already started environmental movement and activities.
In conclusion Worster recommends that policy makers should think in deductive way. They should reduce complex rules and regulation of environmental issue with simple and practical idea. Agricultural strategies should also be decided by ecologists not economists said Worsters to signify the ecologist has more sound knowledge than economist on natural phenomena. He also mentioned our design should be with respect to nature not some new entity and in a minimum production.