Global Changes pp 181-189 | Cite as

Ecological Justice in the Anthropocene: A Proposal

  • Vicente BellverEmail author
Part of the Ethics of Science and Technology Assessment book series (ETHICSSCI, volume 46)


The power created by technoscience during the 20th century has turned human beings into global ecological agents. In the face of this challenge, unique in the history of humankind, there are three answers that have been proposed: to accelerate the process of human control over nature (technocratic paradigm); to revert the present situation to a previous stage in which nature recovers its independence from human beings (decrecentism); and to maintain the current system with some measures to solve the side effects (ecocapitalism). The technocratic paradigm does not recognize the value and limits of nature. Decrecentism ignores the duty of using technology to provide more dignified, decent life conditions for humanity. And ecocapitalism is the contemporary version of an economic system which produces growth as well as inequality and environmental degradation, and that it is constantly reinventing itself to remain legitimate and keep its hegemony. Beyond the specific limitations of each of the models above, they all share a problem in their foundation: human beings are only marginally considered. In this chapter, I will offer an alternative to these models based on the UDHR. This Declaration recognizes the dignity of all human beings, the need to create the conditions for all people to exercise their rights, and the existence of duties to the community as a condition to full human development. The Declaration of Stockholm (1972) and of Rio (1992) materialize these synchronic and diachronic ecological justice demands.


Ecological justice Human rights Technocratic paradigm Decrecentism, ecocapitalism 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy of LawUniversitat de ValènciaValenciaSpain

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