Ecohumanism: A call to action by Terry Martin

By Terry Martin, HSS member, originally published in the 2012 Autumn edition of Humanitie magazine.

Are we humanists hard headed and unsentimental about the environment?

Do we think that animals and other flora and fauna don’t have moral status whereas we do? Is a ‘green humanist’ an oxymoron? You might say that we secularists are not tree-huggers and that we have more important things to concern us than climate change and global warming, rising sea levels, ozone depletion, carbon emissions, loss of biodiversity, soil erosion and species extinction.

Environmentalists have convincingly demonstrated that humanity is not just IN a natural crisis – we ARE the crisis. The Armageddon awaits us some declare.

Perhaps there are ecologically concerned Scottish humanists who don’t go so far but would line up with a growing movement here in Scotland, an alliance of Government led initiatives and volunteer enthusiasts, especially young people, who care about what is happening to the environment and our future.

I propose that we explore the potential within HSS for an active circle of ecohumanists who want to discuss and debate environmental issues. If only to show others that we secularists are not narrowly fixated on religious matters. If green activists say that humanists are stuck in their ways then why not make their interests coincide with ours in some fresh thinking about green matters? A potential youth wing of HSS would surely put environmentalism first on their agenda.

For more information on environmental issues as a humanist – or if you are interested in HSS joining forces with environmental groups please visit the policy and campaigns section.

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