As a species, we have a firmly embedded attachment to seeing ourselves as ‘apart from’ and ‘superior to’ the natural world.
This can prevent us from seeing any intrinsic value in other animals, plant life, rivers, the ocean, the soil, entire ecosystems, and so on. It gives us ‘permission’ to see them instead as being of value only insofar as they serve our interests and goals.
This perspective cannot help but affect our motivation to address the climate crisis. If we do not feel any moral concern for beings other than ourselves, then we will only act to prevent climate change when we are affected in a sufficiently serious way.
The problem is that by then, it will be too late for the planet.
If this is right, then widening our ethical concern to include non-human species and ecosystems could unlock the energy and motivation needed to address the climate crisis.
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