Yeah, I can always go back, right? I'm just not loving what I'm doing right now because I have to do it all the time.
Hope you like pecan pie
So, there are all these different green ethics, right? One of them is the "Christian Stewards" movement. My background is as a Christian and I already knew a little about it. I was interested in seeing how Christian voters prioritize values. And after attending a few Christian Stewards meetings, it became apparent that many of them are more concerned with maintaining the status quo in policy, but just "voluntarily" donating time or resources to pet causes. So, the problem for me is this: Most pro-environment candidates are not pro-life. Many Christian voters are pro-life. How often do Christian voters prioritize environment over abortion? This is just one example, but it is a salient one.
If there were to be an environmental religion out there, I'd think it would be one that included some kind of reincarnation within its theology, but even then I'm skeptical about whether or not it would have any real impact. An analysis of American Buddhists show that they have about as big a carbon footprint as anyone.
Basically, I come from a school of thought that believes values are created by the community, not the community by values. (There are some exceptions to this, especially now with communication technology and the compression of space-time. And there has always been some feedback, but it is generally weak. For example, controlling women has, throughout history, had a positive economic impact for dominant
groups, whereas regulating environment has threatened dominant economic interests. Spiritual texts are interpreted/ignored/emphasized to justify economic interests, not the other way around). My geographic areas of interest are Latin America and the Middle East/Central Asia. I'm actually publishing an article in the next 2 months on women's rights and the Middle East. Basically, it isn't Islam (which is incredibly similar to Christianity), it's a combination of economics, regime type, and social movement cohesion. While this isn't directly related to environment, at its core it is because states don't act on values, they largely act on material concerns, oftentimes using values to mask self-interest. Patriarchy exists, to one degree or another, in all societies. Overcoming it is a question of women's movements attaining more economic capital and resource mobilization and organization. And, to a large degree, it is the same with environmental issues. Ultimately, equity is at the core of improving the environment. If power is distributed enough globally that all people can defend their own backyards against one another and corporate interests, then I think economically you will see environmental behavior become a necessity. There's no one left to easily dump on. Inequity, in my framework, is the root of pollution.
Feminism, environment, Middle East, Latin America . . . see, I can't even focus in political science! I'm ADD on life.
You guys are going to be lucky if I can focus long enough on pouring the drinks. I just might stop halfway and start on some new ones instead.