Creating Ecological Cultures

We need a reconstruction of science and culture; the marriage between technology and science has shown ruthlessness towards nature. Most people today have a modern or capitalistic mindset; it is taught in classrooms, depicted through news stories and of course occurs in politics. This mindset teaches us the idea that we can think our way out of a problem, even on a global scale and implement a solution. But what happens when science alone can no longer fix our problems?

In the Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis by Lynn White, White speaks about what he has come to believe is the main root or cause of our environmental crisis. Much like the authors John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker of the book Ecology and Religion, White speaks about the idea of modernity being the cause of the environmental crisis. “Formerly man has been part of nature; now he was the exploiter of nature,” this sets the tone for the rest of the paper where White defines the relationship between humans and the natural world. He depicts this relationship in a negative way, a relationship in which “Man and nature are two things, and man is master.” White thinks that science and technology which originated in the West grew out of a Christian outlook in which man has dominance over nature.

White claims that “Hence, we shall continue to have a worsening ecologic crisis until we reject the Christian axiom that nature has no reason for existence save to serve man.” Since our problems are so deeply rooted in the ideas of westward expansion, science and technology can not alone solve the problem of our ecological crisis; White believes “…The remedy must also be essentially religious.” I agree with White, when he says the crisis has only gotten worse as science and technology has continued to advance. If science and technology cannot in fact provide us with a solution, we must look to a different source. One source is religion; religious groups can serve as a vehicle for environmental change.


Similarly to White, Grim and Tucker, I believe that our environmental crisis will continue to worsen unless the necessary first step of changing the mindset of people all over the world is taken. A problem caused by the very thing, science and technology, that is trying to fix it, will inevitably result in a never ending cycle of one crisis after the other. The solution to our environmental crisis must be one in which science and religion work together to create an ecological culture.






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