The Ecology of Desire

Caring for the Planet without Sacrifice

ISBN: 9788898881567
publisher: Aboca
year: 2018
pages: 208


«To continue to wave the red flag of approaching disaster without offering any alternative solutions is to drain the message of all its strength,» writes Antonio Cianciullo, who for thirty years has been one of the Italian media’s most influential voices on environmental questions. «If ecologists continue to sell nothing but fear they will continue to fail... It is reasonable, therefore, to shift attention away from the things that should not be done and focus instead on what needs to be done.»

In The Ecology of Desire the author re-examines some of the environmentalists’ mantras, such as ‘the slow against the fast’, ‘recycling against rubbish’, ‘the circular economy against the linear economy’, in order to change them from biblical lists of prohibitions into positive images of change. The crucial task, he argues, is to identify the utopias that have become reality, and, by linking them all together, to create ‘a great choral narrative’ capable of communicating the desire for changes, making it easier to break out of the vicious circle. «The Manichaean packaging in which many ecological proposals have been wrapped has led to an imagery – goodies against baddies, the thrifty against the wasteful – where the inevitable ending of the story is the victory of logical, and therefore superior, thought. Life is not like that. If we rely entirely on logic, overlooking less visible and more deeply rooted mechanisms, we run the risk of failure...»

Ecologia del desiderio is the exact opposite of the ecology of duty which has characterized the environmentalist narrative in recent decades. If it wants people to listen to it, the new environmentalism, it insists, must stop beating its breast and concentrate on making its proposals attractive.