Cultural Sources of U

Cultural Sources of U - over nature Rather than accepting...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Cultural Sources of U.S. Environmental Problems • The dominant ideologies of U.S. society have tended to legitimize or at least account for the wastefulness of Americans and their acceptance of pollution: 1) The Cornucopia View of Nature – Most Americans conceive of nature as a vast storehouse waiting only to be used by people. They regard the natural world as a bountiful preserve available to serve human needs. In this view, nature is something to be used; it is free and inexhaustible. - Americans have disproportionately consumed the resources of the world. For example, although they constitute 4.6 percent of the world’s population, people in the U.S. use 25 percent of the world’s oil output each year. This is because we own 200 million cars and trucks and drive about 1.6 trillion miles annually, almost as much as the rest of the world. 2) Faith in Technology – Most Americans regard human beings as having mastery
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: over nature. Rather than accepting the environment as given, they have sought to change and conquer it (e.g., damning rivers, cutting down timber, digging tunnels, plowing up prairie land, conquering space). Most Americans view nature as something to be subdued and used.- From this logic proceeds a faith in technology; a proper application for scientific knowledge can meet any challenge. If the air and water are polluted, then science will save us. We will find a substitute for the internal combustion engine, find new sources of energy, and develop new methods for extracting minerals. We are beginning to realize, however, that technology may not be the solution and may even be the source of the problem. While scientific breakthroughs have solved some problems, new technologies create unanticipated problems....
View Full Document

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Ask a homework question - tutors are online