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The true ecological intelligence

yhama's picture

The true ecological intelligence

December 6th, 2015


Global warming is not solved by just taking about it even though how advanced the discussion sounds like. I understood Latour’s main idea about “object and subject back to the ground”(Latour, p.16), but if the problem he suggested is that “people are not equipped with the mental and emotional repertoire to deal with such a vast scale of events”,(Latour, p.1) that cannot be solved by reading this abstract essay. The environmental issue is now a world topic and also has related to everyone on the planet not only to the people who have abilities to somehow read it. People can feel they are involved to the earth when they clearly understand the situations and find the solutions they can take. This essay itself plays a role to make people feel like they are separated from the vast environmental issues since the reading seems to be an intangible idea which does not need urgent solutions, as his ending is like this “The metaphor of a Political Body might take on a new lease on life, if it is another name for living with Gaia,”(p.16)

Compared to that, Van Jones has a true ecological intelligence as the term “ecological intelligence” takes into account “how an individual’s actions introduce changes in the energy flows and alter the patterns of interdependence within natural system” .(Bowers, p.46) Jones made a speech about green jobs in front of “thirty high-school dropouts”(Elizabeth, p.1). He rejected to be on the lectern and tried being honest and frank to them. Even though he admires Obama, Jones asserted that Obama is not going to save people. He told them “you are going to have to save Barack Obama”. (Elizabeth p.1) Jones succeeded to make people feel involved to this environmental and economic issue that actually needs people’s understanding to solve. He knows that not all people can get the issues told in a difficult way, as he says “So you can spend a lot of time listening to people who are educated, and all you get is frustrated, because what they’re saying doesn’t actually land with you.”(Elizabeth p.1) Thus he chose clear and easy words for explaining. After his speech, everyone followed him because they were impressed and wanted to talk to him. The reason why they were struck by Jones is because he suggested the concrete examples and also he treated them as members of this large project. The feeling of being involved to the global issue is similar to the idea of “object and subject back to the ground” (Lautour, p.16) Jones applied his knowledge into the real world and this is much more useful than ambiguous essay.

Given the comparison, I would like to apply Jones’ smart method to my six-week project about the food at Bryn Mawr. I want my classmates to feel involved to the issue at Bryn Mawr dining hall. Our side which encourages local organic food is currently not along with Bryn Mawr side which cannot serve it. The both sides have the opinions and reasons, but the decisions will eventually depend on the majority of the students and their actions. So I recognize my job as introducing the idea and letting the students think deeply about their health and the economic justice regarding the dining service. We will try to make the presentation more frank and understandable like Jones did.



Bowers.C.A.(2007). "Steps to the Recovery of Ecological Intelligence." OMETECA. 14-15. 46.

Latour, B. (2014). "Agency at the Time of the Anthropocene." New Literary History. 1-18.

Elizabeth.K.(2009). “Greening the Ghetto.” The New Yoker. 1-9.