We watched Gore's An Inconvenient Truth tonight in class, I've wanted to see that one for a while now. Gore does a pretty good job, although he speaks primarily out of a stewardship paradigm, that is the Earth is up to us to manage so that we have something for our children to inherit. He is also quite anthropocentric in his approach, dealing primarily with the potential impact on humanity. But that aside it is a good assessment of the ecological crisis.
But there is one assumption that I think is flawed. He calls us to a moral judgement of our ecological impact. He says that we have a moral obligation to this world, and assumes that the reason we don't respond is because it is highly inconvenient. He is right it is highly inconvenient, but I think there is a worse reason why so many turn a deaf ear to the ecological crisis. Too many see it as simply irrelevant.
Our culture gorges on decline narratives, we love to look at the signs of the times like the ecological crisis and imagine they are speeding along the demise of this fallen world. Why would we want to stop that? This is the danger of the otherworldly view we have of ourselves. We don't see ourselves as residents, but as aliens waiting for the real show to start. This is so incredibly sad.
The reasons for this are quite complex. The mechanised view of the world, the misplaced confidence in our ability to force our way through any situation and other ideologies have overwhelmed our sensibilities. They have blinded us from even getting to the point of inconvenience, we are still stuck on Gore's vision as an irrelevant truth.