Environmental Critique on OOE
by Adam Robbert
A great post HERE. Post author Christine Skolnik writes:
Object-oriented ecology might be an antidote for both old-school, resource-greedy attitudes toward nature and self-negating, yet self-absorbed, deep ecology. Without going into unnecessary detail, old-school views of nature privilege the human being as a self-justified, imperious subject wielding wondrous technologies in order to extract value from the environment. Deep ecology, conversely, is invested in de-centering the human, though its very objections and abjections can be interpreted as a form of narcissism. The guilt and shame of deep ecology may arise from a sense of superiority: the responsibilities of a unique subject among common objects. In either case it does not follow that only human beings can solve the problem. Shouldn’t the mess we’ve made serve as a proof of our basic incompetence as environmental stewards?
I think this is mostly an accurate statement, though perhaps a bit harsh on the deep ecologists. Deep ecologists have done a tremendous amount of work in rethinking the human-ecology dynamic, though don’t quite push the envelope far enough. My own criticism of deep ecology stems not from any false sense of superiority that might be implied by advocating such a view. But rather that deep ecology often, to my mind, stops thinking just as it opens the door to that familiar, yet alien, world we should be thinking the most: the world of the nonhuman which we exist within, amidst, and through. By generating a sort of indistinguishable evolutionary monism, deep ecology tends less towards the alien and independently existing nature of things, and more towards the holistic sense in which everything is ultimately the same. In other words, deep ecology is a kind of subtle reductionism or overmining.