Human Nature - persisted in reasonable balance with their...

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Human Nature At the other extreme from values-based explanations of CEC are those that point to one or another fundamental feature of human nature as root causes In crudest form, this kind of explanation argues that it is "human nature" to be greedy, to act in self-interest, to convert resources into offspring as rapidly as possible, and to be short-sighted and selfish enough to ignore long-term or broader consequences of our actions Taken at face value, this view suggests there is little hope for reforming our behavior and avoiding environmental crises One logical problem with such a view is that it uses a constant (human nature) to explain a variable (degree of environmental damage) An empirical critique might point to evidence that many human populations have
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Unformatted text preview: persisted in reasonable balance with their environments over long periods of time A more sophisticated version of the "human nature" view would thus have to argue that elements of human nature plus additional variables produce (or prevent) environmental problems A logical corollary of this latter view is that environmental problems are a recurrent possibility in any cultural tradition, not just Western or industrial ones This is in direct contrast with "values" explanations, as well as widely held view that non-Western non-urbanized cultures live in harmony with their environment regardless of the adaptive payoffs for doing so (a topic we have just been considering in this course)...
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