The large mainstream environmentalismgroups started to compromise too much with regulatory agencies and bureaus,starting with the Glen Canyon Dam project. This began an estrangement withthe mainstreams that culminated in the rise of more militant groups likeEarth First! Glen Canyon represented what was fundamentally wrong withthe country’s conservation policies: arrogant government officials motivatedby a quasireligious zeal to industrialize the natural world, and a diffidentbureaucratic leadership in the mainstream environmental organizations thatmore or less willingly collaborated in this process. The mainstream environmental groups andgovernment held the premise that mankind should control and manage thenatural world. The radicals held that our technological culture with itsintrusions on natural world had to be curtailed, perhaps even undone, tokeep the ecology of this planet and our role in it viable. It marked ashift from a rearguard strategy (mainstream) to protect wilderness to anaffirmative attempt to roll back the artifacts of civilization, to restorethe world to the point where natural processes such as the flow of riverscould continue. The mainstream environmental movement isnow perceived by many as out of touch with people’s deep concern aboutenvironmental degradation, has become systematized.
The activists use approachessuch as industrial vandalism or “ecotage” to foster dramatic results. Some other methods employed are tree spiking,tree sitting, road blockading, demonstrations, tree pinning, ship sinking,dam breaking and outright terrorist-type sabotage (bombing power stations,bridges, power line, etc. )There may be some complimentary resultsof the efforts of both mainstream and radical groups. The large environmentalorganizations, while denouncing the radical’s confrontational activities,have then been able to use their ample finances to take the campaign toCongress or the courts with the impetus of public support the radicalsgenerated. 2. With Soule’s quote, including “Vertebrate evolution may beat an end” it means that the civilization complex has lost its referencepoint by overwhelming the natural processes it has always used to defineitself.
The otherness of nature is disappearing into the artificial worldof technology. As the environmental crisis worsens, we can expect increasedattention directed at the ecological sciences, resource management, pollutioncontrol, and technological supervision of the reproduction of valued species,including man. Toynbee writes that the ecological scarcityof the future will be so severe that the “within each of the beleaguered’developed’ countries there will be a bitter struggle for control of theirdiminished resources”. This conflict will inevitably lead to theimposition of authoritarian regimes. There is already evidence of “ecologicalelite’s” where power and status are increasingly measured not merely byeconomic control, but by control over the ecology. Access to clean water,fresh air, open wild spaces, and natural products is competing with ownershipof German autos and Swiss watches.
It is becoming the main preoccupationof political debate. As an example, even when a corporation decides tocreate a item through genetic or non-genetic engineering, it is often indirectlydetermining what species will be exterminated to increase profits, whichhabitats will be sacrificed for economic growth, and whose children willbe allocated the toxic water, poisoned food, and radioactive living space. If the environmental crisis is causing us to reexamine and reject the acceptedvalues of the civilization complex in its entirety, a unique event is takingplace: the passing of civilization into history. 2. Societal breakdown in the face of acontinually deteriorating physical world may face many problems.
As stated above by historian Toynbee, aconflict may lead to the imposition of authoritarian regimes. Political scientist Ophuls offers a similarview, that “in the light of ecological scarcity. . . the individualisticbasis of society, the concept of inalienable rights, the purely self-definedpursuit of happiness, liberty as maximum freedom of action, and laissez-faireitself all require abandonment if we wish to avoid inexorable environmentaldegradation and perhaps extinction as a civilization”.
Economist Heilbronersee this process of environmental disarray as transcending political distinctionsbetween capitalist and socialist countries, irregardless of the conservativethinking that “democratic” capitalism has triumphed over communism. Hebelieves that the urgencies of the future “point to the conclusion thatonly an authoritarian, or possible only a revolutionary,! regime will becapable of mounting the immense task of social reorganization needed toescape catastrophe”. The story of the IK tribe and its analogyto the future of the western society in the face of continuing biologicalmeltdown may prove true. We have had various authorities from a varietyof disciplines reach similar conclusions about this unproecedented problem,it suggests, at the very least, that the environmental crisis has madeour .