1.1. 1: Environmental Value Systems

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Environmental Value Systems

An Environmental Value System can be defined as. How you perceive or evaluate environmental issues as an individual or as part of a group, influenced by cultural, religious, economic and sociopolitical contexts.

O’Riordan (1981, 1989) developed a spectrum of Environmental Values exist and a persons EVS can be explained in terms of this spectrum

Which Environmental Value is this quote set in?

“environmentalists or conservationists are nice, slightly crazy guys whose main purpose in life is to prevent the disappearance of blue whales and pandas. The common people have more important things to think about, for instance how to get their daily bread. Sometimes they are taken to be not so crazy but rather smart guys who, in the guise of protecting endangered species, have formed so called NGOs to get juicy amounts of dollars from abroad. . . . Such views are sometimes true.

However, there are in Peru a very large number of people who are environmentalists. Of course, if I tell such people, you are ecologists, they might reply, “ecologist your mother” or words to that effect. Let us see, however. Isn’t the village of Bambamarca truly environmentalist, which has time and again fought valiantly against the pollution of its water from mining? Are not the town of Ilo and the surrounding villages which are being polluted by the Southern Peru Copper Corporation truly environmentalist? Is not the village of Tambo Grande in Piura environmentalist when it rises like a closed fist and is ready to die in order to prevent strip- mining in its valley? Also, the people of the Mantaro Valley who saw their little sheep die, because of the smoke and waste from the La Oroya smelter. And the population of Amazonia, who are totally environmentalist, and die defending their forests against depredation. Also the poor people of Lima are environmentalists, when they complain against the pollution of water in the beaches” (Blanco, 2008)

The Environmental Movement

Growth of environmental pressure groups in the late 20th Century. (Paavola and Lowe 2005), emphasised a shift in view point.

e.g. During the Cold War nuclear power was seen as clean and safe. This view changed after Chernobyl and more recently Fukushima

Intrinsic Value

To what extend does the environment have it’s own intrinsic value?

Blanco H. 2008, El ecologismo de los pobres. Personal blog.http://hugoblancogaldos.blogspot.com/2008/12/el-ecologismo-de-los-pobres.html

Paavola J; Lowe I (2005) Environmental Values in a Globalising World: Nature, Justice and Governance, Routledge