The Difference Between an Environmentalist and a Cosmologist…

Tonight, after Brian Swimme's talk and the wine and cheese reception at the opening of the conference "Teilhard for a New Generation" at Santa Clara University, Dr. Linda Gibler and I got to talking. These pearls fell from her lips:

The difference between someone with merely an ecological environmental view of the world versus one with a cosmological view is this:

  • The person with an ecological environmental view wants to clean-up the river so that his children and grandchildren will be able to swim and fish in it.
  • The person with a cosmological view wants to clean-up the river because the river should be clean. For itself. If humans benefit from that, then all the better.

This is a simple way of explaining an anthropocentric versus a biocentric world view. Is our motivation to solve problems for the benefit of humans alone, as if humans are primary and Earth derivative, or, do we want to solve problems so that members of the Earth community are returned their sovereignty, with Earth as the primary category of reality and humans a subset?

It is certainly something to ponder. Too help with your pondering you might want to check out the "Earth Jurisprudence" page (under "Reinventing the Human")

Dr. Linda Gibler, O.P., is the author of the 2010 book From the Beginning to Baptism: Scientific and Sacred Stories of Water, Oil, and Fire.

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