Do we lack sensitivity towards Nature?

Abstract: The so-called “sensitive” environmental campaign for the European elections actually shows serious insensitivity to the desires of the living.

Sensitivity on display

Marie Toussaint, environmentalist candidate in the 2024 European elections, is running a “sensitive campaign”. A call to rediscover the “pulsation of life”, a meditation on gentleness, we are heading towards a climatic catastrophe due to a “crisis of sensitivity”, by dint of wanting to bend the world to our basely materialist designs. Did Marie Toussaint understand what sensitivity is?

To be sensitive to something is to slip into the skin of the thing and experience oneself like it. For a plant or an animal, it is to imagine oneself as a plant or endowed with different senses. For a concept, it is understanding its bases and ramifications, thus giving it power. For a human from a different social background, it is simulating their living conditions.

Implicitly moral sensitivity?

There is no morality directly involved in sensitivity. It describes a facilitated relationship, an open exchange between representations of the world. We can be sensitive to the world of a psychopath. We can also label our own universe on the other, being unable to really put ourselves in their place. How can you experience yourself as a plant without a brain? Neural networks simulate the experience of an entity that does not have one. Even comparing our personal sensitivity to that of a congener has no other basis than the very indirect account of both, which supposes that the words are based on the same experience. Precarious conviction. So put yourself in the shoes of “Nature” is very adventurous…

So this is the great fault of the contemporary environmental movement. The sensitivity it displays for Nature is not authentic, because it is a projection of human ideals onto entities lacking support for such sophisticated experiences.

The “sensitive campaign” of Marie Toussaint is in reality a spiritualist campaign, a deification of Nature, a proselytism for the goddess Gaia. It is not certain that it serves the climate cause, because human ideals tend to fight aggressively among themselves, contrary to the ontological principles which organize living things, which are identical for all.

More like a hypersensitivity crisis…

If Marie Toussaint were truly “sensitive”, she would be impartial for her peers concerned with improving their difficult daily lives, which the degrowth advocated by her party makes fun of. Lacking everything makes you very materialistic, and on the contrary political ecology is a luxury in wealthy countries. The environmentalist sensibility is egotistic, directed toward carefully selected ideals. It is therefore not a question of a “sensitive” movement, open to all representations, but of activism or even ostracism, closed to what is not compatible with its spiritualist vision of the planet.

Is it any wonder then that environmentalist themes are popular, but not the (taken) sides? Life is a vast self-organization which includes human desires at its peak. There is no crisis of sensitivity; on the contrary, our hopes, constrained by the ever-increasing number of peers who compete for them, make us hypersensitive to frustrations. The protection of the planet requires a much more exhaustive sensitivity than that advocated by Marie Toussaint, who in fact turns out to be insensitive to the deepest of our desires… as if they had to be excluded from life?

Ontological correction

This campaign is bad because it appeals to a religiosity of life devoid of evidence and which leaves a majority of people faced with daily existential difficulties indifferent. How can we effectively raise awareness about the climate cause? By encouraging us to save an imaginary goddess Gaia or ourselves? It is more useful to unfold in great detail the disaster scenarios that await us. Acting then becomes taking care of yourself and those close to you. We are all concerned. Campaign involving our being, an authentic sensitivity this time, ontological in everyone and no longer idealistic in a few.


1 thought on “Do we lack sensitivity towards Nature?”

  1. I think that is right, with a deeper significance being the undercurrent of disavowal. Many more people today simply ignore nature, as if it did not exist. In doing so, these BNWs ( braver, newer, worlders) disregard the foundation of their own existence. A very old adage, learned from my father goes like this: *cutting off one’s nose, to spite one’s face*. Many are so wrapped up in the wonders of technology, the marvels of competition, they have lost all sense of a bigger picture. Yeah, sure, I lack appreciation for things others simply must have, keeping complexity in coordination with necessity. I am essentialist there. Sure, I worry a little about space junk. It might fall from the ionosphere and kill me. But, I won’t have a smart phone in my ear if that happens.


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