The future of the earth’s environment is at stake as global warming, associated with a myriad of other human-driven changes continue to render the surrounding environment incapable of providing human civilization with the services required for the world system to function accordingly. The outcome of these prevailing human-driven changes is a turning point in current debates about the relationship between humans and nature. Whether the consequences of the dynamic intertwinement of humans and nature are unintended or not, the future of contemporary human-nature relations as regards environmental change paints a gloomy picture. Understanding these complexities in the context of environmental humanities is essential in helping human societies to deal with issues surrounding environmental sustainability.
As humans continue to be a dominant force in a human-nature relationship, there is an urgent need to look at the enormity of the impacts of humans on the environment, and how these impacts can be mitigated in the context of environmental humanity that spans across different experiences, aspects, perspectives, disciplines etcetera. What is pretty interesting about environmental degradation is how the relational values between humans and the environment are continuously being disintegrated because of the broken link between the natural relationship between humans and the environment.
The human-nature relationships, whether intrinsic or instrumental are breaking down because actions carried out by humans to exploit and destroy non-human resources are not in concert with the contents of non-human resources which are also embedded with certain values in their own rights needed to be respected. As ethical perspectives toward the natural environment are shifting toward human-centered interests, in other words anthropocentric, human actions on the environment are becoming justified as superior to non-human resources. As such humans tend to consider themselves to have significantly more intrinsic values than non-humans (natural resources). This human consideration is the cause of environmental destruction because the extent of the human imprint on the environment dominates the great forces of nature on a global scale.
Therefore, to engage in the conversation about environmental sustainability – the most significant challenge ever faced by humanity, there is an urgent need to engage everyone around the table. Climate change is more than just a scientific concept that needs not be engaged only by an epistemic community of scientists or policymakers, it is a concept that has far-reaching implications for human-nature relationships. Consequently, the traditional divide between the sciences and humanities needs to be bridged by using culture, arts, history, gender, visual, philosophy, activism etcetera to address environmental problems.
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