Radical American Environmentalism Guha Summary

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Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, Where wealth accumulates, and men decay. – Oliver Goldsmith. This quote illustrates the shift in focus toward wealth, rather than well-being of the people and its direct relationship with the demise of natural world. In his article titled “Radical American Environmentalism”, Ramachandra Guha debates the ideology behind the spread of “deep ecology” in third world countries by the first world. “Deep ecology is a movement or a body of concepts that considers humans no more important than other species and that advocates a corresponding radical readjustment of the relationships between humans and nature.” Guha does so by pitting the backdrop of a fundamentally dissimilar social and cultural history …show more content…
Deep ecology was created in the western hemisphere and caters only to the richest lower class diaspora of the West. To explain the phenomenon of the “American invention of natural parks” , historian Roderick Nash says that “the less developed nations may eventually evolve economically and intellectually to the point where nature preservation is more than a business.” Guha criticizes the notion of using deep ecology as a bedrock to turn wildlife, although preserving the environment, as a business enterprise. In India, the dark-skinned Jarawa tribe in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands have so far been untouched and 90 percent of their land still remains off-limits and unexploited by the tourism business industry. “As the Jarawas are extremely vulnerable to exploitation by outsiders and could face a similar fate to that of the neighbouring Great Andamanese tribe, their cultural identity has been protected and preserved as they avoid inter-mingling with the outside world.” This situation can be seen as an ode to Guha’s argument against the notion of spreading deep ecology in third world nations where humankind has factually remained embraced within

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