According to Foster, what is the key cause of environmental destruction around us? Based on the information provided by John Bellamy Foster, the great sociological culture focused by our founders was established differently from the nature. He stated that it was as if the environment did not matter. With this information, Foster implied that these notions were different from our expectations. Through evaluating the Karl Marx’s social ecology, he had the aim of examining the emphasis of the latter under which most of the ecologists did not appreciate the Marxist’s approach to understanding the crisis in ecology in the modern times(Foster, 2002). According to the early work for Marx, he stated, “Man lives from nature, that is, nature is his body, and he must maintain a continuing dialogue with it if he is not to die. To say that man’s physical and mental life is linked to nature simply means that nature is linked to itself, for man is a part of nature.” This statement implied that materialism which generates society and life where women and men can change the environment with the intentions of deriving their essential goods is the basis of the social theory(Foster, 2002).
Regarding Foster’s argument, demographic variables and technological change are not the main causes of the destruction of the environment. The materialism is derived from the social relationships of production. Also, these factors are not responsible for the individual wishes, but on the interests of capital. Foster argued that while societies affect the environment through pollution and depletion, to the extent of destruction, then there has been localization because of their sizes.
Capitalism is the system with its roots to the core and peripheral nations, and therefore, there is a likelihood of intensifying the markets to commodify the services and goods and accommodate the luxuries. According to Foster, there are some social factors which are related to the system of capitalism. These variables are inclusive of urbanization, population, and poverty(Foster, 2002). The relationship between the latter and environmental degradation is sophisticated. However, the poor struggle to satisfy their needs through all the available means including depleting nature of its resources(“Environmental Sociology 2 (3/4): 5 Different Blames for Environmental Degradation”, 2013). Regardless of the population being said to support development, if it exceeds its limits, then there is the production of more wastes resulting to pollution and loss of biodiversity. Inadequate opportunities in the rural areas are forcing most of the families to shift to the urban areas to look for green pastures(“Environmental Sociology 6 (1/4): Social Construction of Environment, II: Framing and Interpretation”, 2011). This factor is facilitating the growth of slums, and poor waste and sewage disposal, actions which enhance environmental pollution.With the current nature of capitalism, the raw materials are the only things which matter, and the societies are less focused on the environment.
Environmental Sociology 2 (3/4): 5 Different Blames for Environmental Degradation. (2013). YouTube. Retrieved 7 February 2017, from https://youtu.be/ZmV6CL8RWrE
Environmental Sociology 6 (1/4): Social Construction of Environment, II: Framing and Interpretation. (2011). YouTube. Retrieved 7 February 2017, from https://youtu.be/iBazw62TFCc
Foster, J. (2002). Ecology against capitalism (1st ed.). New York: Monthly Review Press.