You raise several important questions at the end of your prompt, and I feel that the answer we have for these questions will define what kind of future will we have. You ask how can be fight water scarcity, and what steps should we take, asking if we should use technology, law, and the difference between developed and developing nations. I feel that dividing the possible solutions is a short sighted mistake, we must address the water crisis from all angles, and with all tools at our disposal.
But before we go out into the world trying to solve the water crisis we must take a hard look at our country. In a large scale, the existence of a city like Las Vegas, for example, is an inexcusable situation. In a smaller scale, it is unacceptable that he largest crop in the United States is grass. Yes, grass! More than corn, wheat and fruit trees combined!
We have a long ways to go with the water crisis we are in, and we better hurry up. Because once we run out, it is not going to be a pretty sight.
When Brookchin talks about addressing the “economic, ethnic, cultural, and gender conflicts” as a way to fight ecological problems, I believe he is correct. Even though many of us would not want it to be this way, it is not possible to address environmental issues without first dealing with social ones.
The implementation of what I consider the main point o Brookchin’s social ecology, a more direct form of democracy, or a more radical democracy, on a large scale would definitely change the world. But knowing what would result of the world that comes from that is hard to tell. Many people tend to believe that if power were more decentralized many of the problems we have today would be dealt with, if cities had the power to fight big business they would do so, and if citizens were in direct control of their government they would do what is right, but I am not sure I believe this. If every community tried their own way, most of them would fail, and fail miserably. With that said, I’m a believer in decentralization, and I believe we need a lot of it in this country.
In your prompt you ask the question of what changes we would make to the CDQ program in order to make it more effective, when reviewing the general information in the CDQ program website, I came to the conclusion that there are several changes that could be made, but I would be a full to say if any would work better than the current system.
First; the idea of giving local communities a quota, on what has always been their resource, and giving the rest to non-local entities is flawed, I am a firm believer in local management of resources, and believe that the local communities should be allowed to manage the totality of their resources, not just a quota of them.
However, I do know that a change of this scale would be radical, and hard to implement. So I would also support the idea of increasing the quotas of each community, slowly and over time. Furthermore, I am not the biggest fan of communities leasing their catch rights to industry, I believe that other communities should have preferential rights over the quotas that are offered for lease. Also, the current industry should be taxed, and those revenues invested in the local communities, allowing for the development of local industry.
With respect to connecting communities to the market as a way of helping them escape poverty, and generating opportunity, I am not sure how I feel on the subject. We are increasingly a globalized society, and I am not sure that is a bad thing, however, communities, states and countries should be allowed to enter into the market freely, and however they consider appropriate to do so. They should enter under their terms, not under anyone else, and they should be able to invest, tax, and produce what they see fit, and not what others ask of them.
Buddhism in Japan is a funny thing. I lived in Japan, and went to school in a Buddhist school, we had weekly meditation sessions, monks would walk on the hallways in the robes, and the principal also doubled as the head monk in the temple next to the school. (In fact, the school was owned by a temple, which also owned a nearby university) You could say that all of my classmates were practicing Buddhist. My host family was incredibly traditional, they went to the temple, had altars in their home to their ancestor, and maintained a back yard modeled after the gardens you would find in any temple.
Yet, everyone I knew was completely westernized, they went to the movies on weekends, played on their playstations, kept up with fashion, and were not what one imagines when the world Buddhist is said in the west. In my experience people make religion match their lifestyles, not the other way around, and I experienced this in Japan.
Technology has created a disconnect with the environment, but I also believe that we can use technology to reconnect with nature, and I also believe that technology is the only way we have out of this hole we dug ourselves in.
To answer your last question, I do not believe that placing a lesser focus in economic well-being is the answer, I believe people that are not as economically stable are less likely to want to protect the environment. I would not care about global warming if I did not have a roof over my head.
I disagree with Wenz’s of the use of the word “racism to describe the flaws of how toxic waste is managed, and who it really affects. According to Wenz, Environmental racism takes place when toxic waste is placed in areas that are predominately occupied by minorities. While it is true that most waste is disposed in low income areas, and it is also true that many low income people are from minorities, in the case of disposal of toxic substances, race plays no part. The issue of environmental classism, as I believe it should really be called, is real, and it should be dealt with. The other main issue I have with Wenz argument is that it tries to simplify the issue by saying that those who consume the most, should have the most waste buried next to them. Most products go halfway around the world before making it to consumer’s hands. From a mine in Africa where the raw materials are exploited, to a processing factory that turns them into industrial grade materials in Asia, to factories that create components in the United States, and back to Asia for the final assembly, the path a product follows is a complex one, and the waste, most often than not, is nowhere near where consumers are. This would make it even harder for an agency to implement his plan. I won’t presume to know the answer to this issue, and while Wenz is in the right track, by trying to make the negative externalities not negatives, I believe plan to be extremely impractical at best.
Romanticism and anthropocentrism can and, in my opinion, will have to find a middle ground if we are to survive in this planet while preserving the environment. White it is true that both points of view differ greatly from one other, their end objectives are compatible. Romantics want to live in a simpler time, when humans were closer to the planet. And anthropocentrics believe that humans are the central and more important creatures of the planet. Their end goals are not incompatible by any means, but both will have to make some compromises to live in a planet that they can be happy with.
Romanticist will have to accept technology, and use it to bring us “in tune” to the earth, utilizing technology and education to make it possible for humans and nature to share the planet in a sustainable manner. While antropocentirst will have to acknowledged that without a healthy planet humans will not be able to survive. If they truly believe humans are the most important creature in the planet, then they must understand that preserving the environment, even if it is at the cost of some human comforts, is necessary for the preservation of the species as a whole .
It is necessary for opposing points of view to acknowledged each other, and it is often that behind different beliefs a same final goal hides. But in order for this to happen education would be the most important step that needs to be taken. Educate people about the importance of the environment, and educate people in the different perspectives that exist.