Reflections on the Ecological Crisis and the Meaning of Nature
Environmental or ecophilosophy came into existence in the late sixties and early seventies of the previous century in response to the perception of a human-induced global ecological crisis. Exponential demographic and economic growth increasingly undermine the ecological viability and carrying capacity of the biosphere: natural resources are depleted and natural cycles are disturbed, water, air and soil are polluted, biodiversity is reduced – the whole fabric of nature is destabilized and disintegrating. The explosive growth of the human economy – in the number of humans as well as in the rate of consumption of nature of each individual – is destroying the planetary ecology as the integrated whole of the physical, geomorphological, chemical and biological processes which generate and maintain the richness and diversity of life on our planet. With the imminent threat of climate change and its potentially devastating consequences for human and non-human life the ecological crisis looms larger than ever. Mother Earth’s critical functions are today closely monitored around the clock and tens of thousands of scientific experts are charting the course of ecological devastation and decline in its details as well as in its global scope.