4/6/2023 – | Last updated: 4/6/2023 06:15 PM (Makkah Al-Mukarramah)
Contrary to what appears, the extensive talk about the environment involves a bitter ideological struggle and conflicting geostrategic and economic interests. It is true that the patterns of dealing with the land and the methods of depleting its resources are something that threatens to blow up the causes of belongings and stability, as it warns of the depletion of life, but the controversy surrounding what is happening reminds us of the saying of those who said: "He gave us words, so we gave him words." Most of the recommendations and decisions issued by the major forums devoted to the issue of the environment are only a reflection of the balance of power in the world.
Stephen Poole, in his book Unspeak: Words are Weapons, talks about a memorandum leaked in 2003 that talks about the language that should be used to serve the goals set by Republicans in the United States of America regarding environmental policy. Pollster Frank Luntz says in this note, specifically in a section entitled “Winning the Controversy Over Global Warming”: “We need to revise the terminology to enter the next discussion about the environment.. It is time for us to start talking about climate change rather than global warming. The intention behind the proposed name is to avoid falling into exaggeration that might lead people to pay more attention to the question of the environment at the expense of the party's other priorities.
Stephen Ball shows us with this parable how the naming of things is an integral part of the meanings or positions to which the politician argues. It is also clear to us that awareness of phenomena and the representation of their truth mainly passes through the language carefully selected by those with political interests. This applies to the awareness of the question of the environment and its representation of its truth. If it is true that scientific experience monitors for us some disturbing phenomena related to the environment, then it is no less true that our representation of the seriousness of these phenomena than their non-seriousness depends on the rhetoric adopted in describing and presenting them, is it a rhetoric of intimidation or a rhetoric of belittling?
European institutions have succeeded in enabling the idea of "defending the land" and instilling it in the hearts of young people and adolescents. The content of this idea states that there are opponents attacking the earth, parties and destinations that must be condemned and blamed
Ecology and ideology
If the origin of the word "ecology" (Ökologie) refers, as defined by its meaning with the German scientist "Ernst Haeckel", to the science that deals with the study of the natural environment where living organisms interact, and the relationship of these organisms to this environment, then the word has become denoted with the passage of days. It goes beyond this description to refer to a philosophical or doctrinal system of thought that identifies ways to preserve nature, or ways to achieve balance between man and his environmental milieu. Thus, ecology has become an ideological affair par excellence, attracted by conflicting forces over conflicting interests. This appears to us in the raging conflict within the European house, especially between Germany and France, over ways to reach the green transition, for example.
European institutions are trying, through the use of flashy words and phrases, to portray the historical stage as the stage of defending the environment in the first place. The conclusion is that these words and phrases are nothing more than slogans whose function is to distract public opinion from the terrible ideological disintegration that threatens the European Union, as the idea of Europe is no longer a comprehensive idea, especially after Britain's withdrawal. There is a strong feeling that the spirit that the founding fathers of this union tried to instill in it is today closer to dying than to life. Ideas of the old continent.
Whoever contemplates the demonstrations of schoolchildren for the environment before the Corona pandemic feels that there is something hidden in it. These demonstrations and other activities come within the framework of the efforts of European countries, major parties, institutions and bodies, to mobilize culture for the idea of defending the land. Perhaps what justifies this statement is the support received by literary and intellectual writings, scientific studies, and artistic works that contribute to this mobilization.
European institutions have succeeded in enabling the idea of "defending the land" and instilling it in the hearts of young people and adolescents. The content of this idea states that there are opponents attacking the earth, parties and destinations that must be condemned and blamed. This is what emerges among the writings that deal with the subject of the environment through study, analysis and imagination, in which we see the bias of the self in exchange for the other, who is sometimes known and sometimes unknown.
It is likely for us that the defense of the land has taken a clear ideological turn in the European context, as it has taken the form of an attack and condemnation of value systems that not only justify the exploitation of the land and the depletion of its wealth, but also justify the exploitation of women and the enslavement of the other, as well as the abortion of the rights of minorities to enjoy their privacy. Thus, the issue of defending the land indicated the agreement of goals between currents that arose from the womb of the 1964 revolution against the prevailing culture at the time.
In a previous article on Elif Shafak's novel "The Island of Lost Trees", we have already indicated that the novelist is based on a European system of values in her defense of the environment. In fact, many Western writings and researches are issued in defense of the environment on a biased value system, which installs itself in the position of ruler over other value systems. It seems to us as if we are emerging from a stage when the West used the issue of human rights to justify its intervention in other cultural spaces, towards a new stage in which it became riding on the issue of the environment as the embodiment of a liberated value system.
This new trend is emerging more clearly with the arrival of representatives of the green ecological parties to the institutions of the European Parliament in large numbers. When we turn the matter of this arrival, its inside and its back, we find that it indicates a turning point with major implications related to the question of the environment. With environmentalists practicing politics in the name of the environment, they began to bring the question of ecology out of the circle of ethics into the circle of ideology, and the question of preserving and defending the land became a factional affair that pertained to this group rather than that, instead of remaining a general matter pertaining to man.
When we contemplate the course of the development of ecological thought, we find that it starts from the point of remembrance, reminding of the human role in preserving or destroying the foundations of life, then reaching the demand for control over this human being. Perhaps this reminds us of our Islamic context and the forms of transition from the logic of the call to the logic of the state. Green parties' domination of European institutions lays the foundations for an ecological discourse that does not understand the major challenges posed by the environment to man. The ecological discourse, by entering the stage of political settlements, has become incapable of alerting to the core of the problem: namely, the Western civilizational model and its way of life.
The dilemma of the ecological current in the West lies in the fact that, on the one hand, it wants to build on the ruins of religion in the Christian context; And the fact that, on the other hand, it envisages access to the intrusive souls to treat people's morals and change what is in these souls. The ecological discourse has turned into a mere scientific discourse that drowns in scientific details and cuts off with the wisdom legacy that considers the issue of the environment a moral issue in the first place, and thus it has failed to reach other cultures, and if it reaches them, it does not teach them anything, because they are more ecological cultures than the West. Because it is less luxurious than his culture.
The crux of the environmental problem is luxury. And the ecological current entered a stage when it became calling for the creation of new means and energies, more environmentally friendly, in order to enjoy the same pleasures that people enjoy, at the same level of luxury, and not in order to divert them to other modes of life. In fact, the problem lies in the fact that luxury has become the cornerstone of the global economic system. It is enough for us to reflect on our daily life to realize that a person has become almost not eating fruits, wearing clothes, or using a machine, except for what comes to him from afar. I do not think that previous human civilizations witnessed what our civilization is witnessing today in terms of exaggeration in bringing things to the place of human presence.
And we gather our words here to say that the question of ecology will not be productive if it remains a question asking for answers from within the existing scientific and cultural value system; Rather, it must be linked to the legacy of wisdom transmitted in other cultures. We will elaborate on this question based on a reading of Ibn Khaldun's Theory of Urbanization, and then in the book "Walden" by the American writer "Henry David Thoreau".