Constructive Environmentalism

Environmental protection is a more common phrase than environmental defence (British English) = defense (American English). Protection is passive, as in locking something away out of harms way. Defense is active, employing people and devices to deflect attacks, reduce danger and prevent injury.

In many respects, changing the word order of these phrases provides a better understanding of the intended purpose: protective environmentalism in contrast to defensive environmentalism. Unfortunately, while defense is active, it is neither assertive nor positive. Thus, there is need for more dynamic representations. Potential phrases include: assertive environmentalism followed by aggressive environmentalism, and ending up with militant environmentalism. The problem with these last two approaches is that they are too authoritarian, too dogmatic, too insistent – without nuances. Thus, none of them will be used, at least by this author.

Another approach is to use terms related to negative or positive environmentalism, where negative emphasises prohibitions, most emphatically expressed in destructive environmentalism. Unfortunately, this is the mindset of many environmentalists. It is yet another term to be avoided, despite the fact that the environmental movement has far too many adherents telling people what not to do. Instead, my preferred adjective is constructive, as in constructive environmentalism, which involves working actively and co-operatively to promote positive changes.

As an example of constructive environmentalism, it is my hope that Friends of the Earth Inderøy, will focus on five areas:

  1. Education
    1. Information about species (native and otherwise) resident in the municipality, and their impact on the environment and people.
    2. Information about the impending climate crisis, and how it will impact the natural as well as the cultural landscape. It is especially important for provide information about how to mitigate its effects.
  2. Repair and recycling
    1. Bicycles
    2. Clothing
    3. Consumer electronics
    4. Furniture
  3. Local food production/ rewilding
    1. Geodesic dome greenhouse. Norway does not produce enough plant based foods to sustain its population. Thus one of the first projects is to develop a greenhouse.
    2. Hydroponics = growing plants in water. The greenhouse will be complete with suitable lighting, that will allow year-round production of food-stuffs, using hydroponics to reduce water and mineral resources.
    3. Apiculture = bee keeping. There is a need for more bees, as well as family and bee friendly hives, for pollination, as well as the production of honey.
    4. Heliciculture = snail farming. Protein production using snails, and other invertebrates.
    5. Rewilding areas not used for food production and recreation. Living near trees, especially, improves mental health and wellbeing.
  4. Monitoring and communication
    1. Radio communication of environmental data, with monitoring facilities located at Mosvik, Utøy, Kjerknesvågen, Sandvollen, Straumen and Røra, at schools where these are available.
    2. Construction of radio and weather/ monitoring equipment to be used at the six centres noted above.
    3. Air defence. Construction and operation of drones to monitor acute situations. Equipped with sensors and video cameras.
    4. Sea defence. Construction and operation of underwater robots to monitor the environment. Equipped with sensors and video cameras.
    5. Collection of evidence. It is not the role of environmentalists to enforce environmental laws or to police violations. However, evidence that is collected through monitoring can be given to the authorities who have that responsibility.
  5. Transportation
    1. Encourage the construction of pedestrian/ cycle paths connecting residential areas with school/ commercial/ administrative centers. This will promote healthier lifestyles/ more exercise/ better mental health, and reduce dependency on motorized transport.
    2. Construction of pathways through disturbed natural landscapes (de facto cultural landscapes), encouraging exercise and wellbeing.
    3. Construction of raised pathways in undisturbed natural landscapes, to reduce the impact of these human pathways, and to prevent them from becoming barriers to native species and their natural use of the landscape.

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