Whew, okay, a lot to try to reply to.
Second, my guess is that the nature respecting cultures you refer to were/are rooted in a direct daily experience of nature.
I think this is a big issue. It's almost hypocritical to talk about nature if one hasn't really been in it. Our modern ethics really do reflect the fact that they emerged from a "technosphere", or one dominated by our technology rather than those that emerged from natural processes (notice the unavoidable division again, it's just a limitation of our language).
We might chew on this. Just about everybody now knows that global warming is a serious threat generated by human activity. In spite of this widely held knowledge, we continue to earnestly mass produce entirely frivolous luxury consumer items, at ongoing cost to the atmosphere. You know, we're like drug addicts that know we're killing ourselves, but we can't help but continue shooting up.
This suggests a theory that the problem is deeper than swapping out one philosophy for another.
Some argue that it's a problem of world views (Like Leopold or Lynn White). Others (like the pragmatists) disagree. I'm not sure where I stand. Looking at how the rest of nature, from bacteria to wolves, overpopulate beyond their resources... I'm just tempted to assume that that's just the way things work. Then again, you can still trace my influence (Darwin) back to Thomas Malthus who essentially said the same thing.
As things stand, there's not much chance billions of people in urban populations are going to develop a deep personal relationship with nature, given that our minds are flooded with a distracting tidal wave of thought we seem unable to control.
I think, historically, that's untrue. It seems to be a unique characteristic of a particular
chain of thought in the West that caught on and dominated other cultures (sometimes it's called the Colonial Culture) that led to this artificial division of man from nature. Given it's relatively brief history and popularity in the world, I'm more inclined to think that it would be harder to hold on to it than to help it change. Maybe I'm just optimistic, but I tend to see unsustainable beliefs as... well, not long lasting.
Perhaps the moral of the story is that your generation should stop hoping my generation is going to hand you a clean world. It's probably time to shove us aside, grab the reigns of power, and create your own future. You don't really have the time to wait for us boomers to grow up. If that was going to happen, it would have already.
Ha! It's ironic what has become of the people who were young in the 60's and 70's. It's like a whole generation just gave up. That's always been a mystery to me.
I'd have thought that the field of study called environmentalism is a set of fundamental assumptions about how one should behave 'in your environment'.
It's a convoluted complex of epistemic, metaphysical, ethical (and often meta-ethical), and even aesthetic claims. Sure, the intent is to create a new framework for how we should interact with one's environment, but the process to get there is labyrinthine
You mean direct action and green-politics?
I'm not sure what that means. If you're talking about degrees of green, individualistic systems tend to be "less green" than holistic ones. As far as the politics, I have no idea. Sadly, the politics of environmentalism are more about politics than philosophy (avoiding, of course, political philosophy).
So if the 'ecosystem' required the death of millions of human primates you'd consider implementing the policy?
That's called "environmental fascism", and I can't think of any philosophy that actively endorses it (though it is a common criticism of holism). All I can say to that (it's a large topic actually) is that most holistic perspectives also have an individualistic side to them. That is; you won't find a purely holistic system that completely abandons the value of an individual member. It works in reverse, of course, as you likely won't find an individualistic perspective that completely ignores the needs of the whole.
And logic could lead us to the earlier question. Could we then be considered a problem?
Is this not a simplistic view of both machines and organisms. As Life appears to be computational?
I think the consensus is that we can be considered a problem, though I don't think many are misanthropic enough to appeal to our extermination
. Certainly, there's a cry for radical changes.
I'm not sure what you mean by life as computational. That, to me, seems like another metaphor for mechanism.
Could you describe the individualistic ethical basis of environmentalism first please, as I may agree with it but I'm not sure what it is? Is it the Darwinist idea of Hobbes? As after all, most species that have ever existed are now extinct, and a good few eco-systems.
Well, you can have a Hobbesian individualism, sure. You can take it in many directions, though. It could be inspired by Hume, for example, or feminism. The individual perspective just places value on each individual member of a community, not imaginary concepts like "species" or "ecosystems". Peter Singer is a good example of this. I just don't know how you can justify eating animals (or plants) if you believe each individual organism has just as much value as yourself. To avoid that, I tend to think of things more in terms of these imaginary concepts. Of course, you can't ignore one for the other, as I said above. The individual still matters to the holist, he or she just isn't the prime center of value.
These are good forums? What do mean by "environmental views"?
Are they not? Environmental views are views about one's environment and one's place in that environment.