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The Environmental Politics of Sacrifice$
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Michael Maniates and John M. Meyer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014366

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014366.001.0001

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The Sacred and the Profane in the Ecological Politics of Sacrifice

The Sacred and the Profane in the Ecological Politics of Sacrifice

(p.117) 6 The Sacred and the Profane in the Ecological Politics of Sacrifice
The Environmental Politics of Sacrifice

Karen Litfin

The MIT Press

The environmental crisis is a by-product of expanding human populations and greater consumption. Environmental degradation is reflected in mass extinction of species, climate change, increasing pollution rate, and unsustainable resource dilapidation. This chapter discusses the holistic ontology of sacrifice and shows sacrifice to be ubiquitous across cultures. An affirmative perspective on sacrifice through a scientific grounding such as earth systems science, the universe story, or the positive psychology movement is discussed. Human history at various points of time shows that people were willing to sacrifice for their family, tribe, and nation. In the contemporary economy of the world, a high level of consumption brings change to the environment, requiring that sacrifices are made for the common good.

Keywords:   environmental crisis, environmental degradation, holistic ontology, sacrifice, human history

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