The term “environmental romanticism” as something new certainly requires speculation. To a westerner, this may be a modern approach towards the environment, following our general infatuation with science and new technology. However, for many third world and “lesser developed” countries (dare we say that we are really more developed), this connection and reverence for nature has always been a way of life.
The sense of romanticism has never been as centered around humans and the individuals as it is in western societies. Anthropocentrism is no doubt a new phenomenon as humans are relatively new additions to the planet– however it may not be as wide-spread as liberal westerners may think. To an extent, humans will strive for survival as they have a desire to do so. This longing for a continuation of one’s own kind is something that most people feel is important. Yet, for the many agricultural societies of the third world, living in harmony with nature is a part of life. Rather than controlling and dominating nature as anthropocentric westerners tend to see as progressive, traditional natives adjust their lifestyles to the environment. As seen in the example of genetically modified “high-yield” seeds encouraged by the Green Revolution, the many specifically bred strains of seeds by locals were pushed out of the picture as backwards. Capitalists saw this as another chance to dominate and form an economic monopoly on these seeds. Because we have so much technology and we have had the privilege to enjoy modern luxuries, we have become blind to the biodiverse and more effective ways of the past.
As the supposed leaders of the world, developed countries need to be the ones striving for balance– a balance that I believe can be achieved. We need to open our eyes to the ways of a more traditionally-oriented society and learn from others. Maybe if we stop pushing ourselves into the affairs of the world with our pre-set interests in mind, a newer and more “in-tune” approach with nature can arise.