Over the past few weeks, Andrew and I have been asked by a couple of guests if we are ‘Preppers’. We hadn’t heard this term before. Once we learned what it meant, we explained that our position is from a place of love, i.e. to tread lightly on the earth and not from fear, i.e. to hoard or produce food in case of an apocalypse.
With this in mind and with current media discussions on climate change, Andrew and I were trying to find a word to describe people who destroy an ecosystem. An eco-system being: “a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment”. A system that includes all beings: micro-organisms in the soil, all plants, insects, birds, animals and humans
Genocide is a term to describe the killing of a large group of people and is committed by people who view ‘their target’ as being a problem.
People use herbicides to kill plants that are viewed as ‘a problem’ and use pesticides to kill ‘problem’ pests. These actions are viewed as being ‘good’ actions in our society. In fact herbicides and pesticides are readily available in the marketplace and are actively promoted by producers and people, including gardeners.
‘Eco-terrorists’ is not a term to use for people who destroy an ecosystem because according to those who live by an economic model, eco-terrorists are viewed as being bad (a problem) even though their values and belief systems are focused on the good of an eco-system.
So, what do you call someone who destroys an eco-system? Some gardeners use herbicides and pesticides that kill their intended target (e.g. problem herbs or pests) which also destroy an ecosystem that kills wildlife (e.g. hedgehogs with slug pellets) and people (e.g. pharmaceutically-manufactured poisons that harm human health when consumed).
An arsonist is someone who commits a criminal act by setting fire to property. Do we call a person who commits a criminal act by destroying an eco-system using herbicides or pesticides – a herbicidist or a pesticidist (depending upon their modus operandi)? Not that I am aware of.
Gaiacide is used to describe the action of destroying ‘Gaia’ – Mother Earth. But, the term gaiacidist doesn’t fit the action of destroying an actual ecosystem. Instead it points to destroying planet earth ‘as a whole’.
Ecocide is a word to describe the destruction of the natural environment yet there is no noun to describe a person who commits ecocide! So, would they be an ecocidist?
When we ‘googled’ “who kills an ecosystem” … the search came up with articles that describe ‘how to kill an ecosystem’ and ‘what’ kills an ecosystem’. It revealed a significant gap in our language. THERE IS NO WORD TO LABEL A PERSON WHO KILLS AN ECOSYSTEM!
Our language supports the culture and society we inhabit, and it is seriously flawed!
It is time we changed our culture by using words that put “eco”–nomics at the heart of all we do, think and speak, and limit the use our current language of profit/growth in monetary economic terms.