Environmental protection has become a critical subject in all world societies as the effort is made to curb the undesirable effects of climate change and make the universe habitable for the current and future generations. Different countries have initiated legislation to control how human beings relate with the environment with various world eco-friendly groups such as the UN instigating mechanisms to have all nations participate in ecological conservation.
There are two major ecological trends that need to be considered in the pursuit to ensure environmental protection which includes the focused and the deep, long-range ecology movements (Naess, 1973). First, the focused ecology movement is concerned about the prospect of minimizing pollution and depletion of resources. This approach is meant to enhance the general wellbeing of societies by facilitating good health and economic prosperity through environmentally friendly actions. Second, the deep, long-range ecology movement is focused on establishing a balance between the quality of human life and other living organisms sharing the same environment.
Naess (1973) highlights the ecological differences between developing and developed countries with respect to how they relate to the environment and emphasizes the need to establish a social movement that helps people to recognize the importance of the ecology in promoting good life and steer its protection. On the other hand, Redclift (1984) focuses on the industrial pollution and soil erosion by pointing out how the extent of underdevelopment and overdevelopment in different parts of the globe such as in Latin America affects the environment. For instance, some of the overdeveloped regions encounter environmental crises occasioned by factors like resource depletion and ecological degradation prompted by unsustainable acts by both private and public entities. Finally, Kennet & Heinemann (2006) emphasize the need to establish long-term sustainable mechanisms that promote a green economy with similar principles to the deep ecology movement by Naess, focused on inclusive participation by all societal members to ensure social and environmental justice.
The approaches suggested in the articles have various similarities and differences. Both Naess and Redclift address the aspect of resource utilization in under-developed and overdeveloped nations in enhancing environmental degradation. While Naess underlines the disparity between poor and wealthy countries in terms of sustainability and the effort to engage in environmentally friendly actions, Redclift highlights how the overdevelopment of various regions in America such as the South has contributed to aspects of resource depletion and ecological degradation. There is a clear distinction in the environmental conservation contexts fronted by Naess and Redcliff with the former stressing the scope of the focused and the deep long-range eco movement while the latter emphasizes how specific social formations in different societies influence how people relate with the environment. Kennet & Heinemann review the need for sustainable development as a long-term measure in enhancing a green economy. Their views are similar to Neass’ deep ecology movement approach as they both require everyone to take part in conserving the environment.
Naess’ approach is the most comprehensive and applicable in all world societies in establishing a good relationship between human beings and the environment. His approach gives a complete analysis of the disparity between the narrow and broader deep ecology movements by considering how under and overdeveloped countries engage in matters concerning the environment. This is unlike Redclift’s approach which only focuses on resource exploitation of the South and the resultant environmental degradation without noting its impact on underdeveloped societies. Through the normative projection, Naess’ approach is evidently viable as it underlines the potential of the deep ecology movement through political goodwill in different countries.
The precautionary principle is a guideline instilled in environmental law to ensure that action is taken whenever there are possible risks posed to the lives of human beings or to the ecology through acts that are yet to be proved as sustainable through science (Durant, 2017). The rationale behind the establishment of this principle is to protect the environment and ensure good health among citizens in societies by being able to deal with any activities that jeopardize the general welfare of the ecology.
The strength of the precautionary principle is its extensive nature and global applicability which helps in ensuring that any environmentally risky undertakings are identified and measures are taken to mitigate any undesirable implications. However, the principle has numerous weaknesses. First, it inhibits innovation and scientific research considering that it is founded under the notion that a threat has to occur for precautionary measures to be instigated. Second, it is difficult to integrate the principle in most societies’ domestic laws making decision-making a challenge in situations that require its application. Finally, the implementation of the precautionary principle needs various scientific approaches that may be costly and ineffective due to the lengthy durations involved. According to Cooney (2004), incorporating the social, economic, and political aspects that need to be considered when implementing the principle is a challenge which inhibits its successful application with respect to the ecology.