Environment Across Cultures — an Introduction

  • Eckart Ehlers
Part of the Wissenschaftsethik und Technikfolgenbeurteilung book series (ETHICSSCI, volume 19)


Environment and environmental issues are high on the agenda of an enlightened and engaged public — and consequently on that of a seemingly worried international community of policy-makers. The shrinking of time and space, inherent concomitant of the globalization process, has caused new and unprecedented common concerns about the present state and past as well as future developments of our globe. If we accept the somewhat simplistic approach according to which everything that happens on a local scale has global impacts and — vice versa — that everything happening on a global scale will cause local consequences, then not only the term “environment”, but even more so the topic “environment across cultures” gains momentum. We begin to understand that our Western European perception and meaning of the term “environment” may be entirely different from that in Africa or Asia. But we begin to materialize that environmental changes anywhere in the world will cause consequences in other parts of our globe: global environmental degradation in Africa, overpopulation and urbanization in Asia, depletion of the ozone layer and increases of America’s or Europe’s CO2-emissions and the loss of Amazonia’s biodiversity are no longer merely regional events. On the contrary, all of them have global consequences. Their effects are felt in terms of environmental refugees, in the collapse of terrestrial ecosystems and food shortages, in global warming and sea-level rise, in a global increase of natural hazards and other environmental changes on a world-wide scale.


Global Environmental Change Traditional Ecological Knowledge Environmental Perception Environmental Refugee Sustainability Discussion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

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  • Eckart Ehlers

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