I am sitting on a very comfy wood chair at one of the 30 libraries on campus. I consider myself very fortunate; I am attending one of the best universities in the world. Nonetheless, I want more from UofT, more than comfy wood chairs and libraries, those things are: not to share a classroom with more than 30 people, not to walk such long distances to get from point A to point B, and not to feel that, because I am an undergraduate student, my opinion does not count. Now, you may think that I am selfish, lazy and insecure but, more than that, I think I am having problems of nonconformity.
But as I am having problems of nonconformity, the humanity is having problems of anthropocentrism, which “is a perspective that regards humans as the most important entity on the planet” (Briony MacPhee Rowe). We desire space, comfort, and inclusion.
We, humanity, desire space. Our population has been growing exponentially and we need more space for the new humans. So, we expand our horizons and start building more communities on wild territories that used to belong to other creatures (trees and animals). When we create these communities, the population of the creatures that were either killed (like the trees) or removed, decreases. The diminution of these creatures causes an impact on the environment; in the case of the diminution of the population of trees, as many of we know, causes a decrease in the absorption of CO2 and an increase of this gas going into the biosphere, causing global warming. What we can do is to change our mind and think that there are enough people on the planet already, we can adopt orphans or poor children, instead of having our own. That way we could help the other and reduce our population, and therefore, reduce the demand of new space.
We, humanity, desire comfort. Our current methods of transportation and energy production have made our lives way more comfortable than when we had to walk miles away to get from point A to point B, and when we could not read at night because the light of the candles was not good enough. Nevertheless, these comforts bring their consequences; all of the current methods of transportation use oil as their fuel, and in the case of energy production, the extraction of fossil fuels and conversion of these into electricity causes enormous emissions of CO2. We can introduce new technologies that are more environmentally friendly, such as solar panels, electric cars, and so forth.
We, humanity, desire inclusion. Our expectations, of living in a world where the wilderness is performed as the entity of control, are obsolete. We want to be this entity of control and exclude the wilderness around us. That is why we build “civilizations” and we cannot live in armory with the creatures of the wilderness, so we reject them. The rejection of these creatures, again trees and animals, causes a decrease in the absorption of CO2, and therefore, a major impact on the ozone layer. What we can do is to include this wilderness world outside the “civilizations” and start planting trees, contaminating less, and take care of our environment.
In conclusion, our desires are confronting our reality. If we were to confront our reality we would reduce our population; we would implement green technology; and we would include the creatures that also live in our planet. By reducing our population, the demand for new space will decrease as well, and therefore there would be less deforestation; by implementing green technology such as electric cars or solar panels, we will decrease the emissions of CO2 that the old technologies caused; and if we include the other species in our world, we will see that there are very important for our subsistence, and we would stop doing actions that harm them and us. All these three points, would decrease considerably the emissions of gasses that contribute to climate change, but are we ready to leave behind our anthropocentric point of view and make this change?