chapter  6
WAYS AHEAD
Pages 17

It is tempting to say that there are two ‘extreme’ perspectives among radical ecologists on how ecotopia might be attained and what it might be like. However, everyone’s perspective is ‘extreme’ to someone else in the world: better then to talk of a spectrum of views. One end is idealist (Chapter 2.7), arguing that changes in consciousness and values will produce mass changes in how people behave. The other is materialist, concentrating on the need to change socio-economic arrangements radically as a simultaneous or prior requisite to widespread attitudinal change. Idealism suffuses New Ageism, while eco-socialism is fundamentally materialist. Deep and social ecologists, including environmental activists, often reject both ends of the spectrum: their radical, ecocentric prescriptions are somewhere ‘in the middle’. But they usually gravitate towards one or other perspective.