Earth-Centered Leadership

In the fourth chapter, we get to the crux of the study: unraveling and developing the very notion of “leading for the Earth,” i.e., leading in a way that fosters the world rather than diminishes it. This is how I proceed: given that the third chapter focuses on a thoroughgoing explication, refinement, and defense of a consistent and thus “radical” ecocentrism, I leave it to the fourth chapter to discuss the five eco-centered expressions that are the five antithetical corollaries to the five homocentric ones: “eco-instrumentalism,” “eco-consumption,” “eco-production,” “eco-liberation,” and “eco-preservation.” Just like the five anthropocentric expressions, their explication clarifies and adds further specification to the meaning and practice of Earth-centeredness. And just like the anthropocentric expressions, their foregrounding also proves methodologically useful: when I discuss the ecocentric manifestations, I then also identify and discuss leaderly measures or actions that might allow the eco-expressions to remain/become situationally dominant, for when Earth-centered expressions are the dominant ones, there is a greater likelihood that the overall situation will be (more) ecocentric.

For instance, when I explore eco-instrumentalism, which is the Earth-centered approach to utilizing the non-human (moderate use allows us to meet reasonable human ends), I then identify a number of measures that may facilitate eco-instrumentalism. A first measure is sustained, society-wide eco-education, which might allow us to change the very way we construe non-human things (i.e., that they are more than their instrumental dimension), thereby informing how we should use them. A second measure is human population stabilization (//of reduction), as there is a correlation between the amount of humans and the amount of non-humans we utilize. Given that a number of measures are contentious, I offer sustained and sensitive arguments for their implementation. Obviously, these controversial measures are likely to be challenged by anthropocentric society -but this is/might be the very nature of truly environmental leadership: of going against the anthropocentric grain. After all, our environmental woes have not only persisted but have multiplied and intensified, so that what has thus far passed for environmental leading needs to be re-examined and likely superseded.

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