Environment And Nature

THE MORAL CIRCLE AS A COMMON MOTIVATIONAL CAUSE OF CROSS-SITUATIONAL PRO-ENVIRONMENTALISM

 

Authors:

Boyka Bratanova, Steve Loughnan, Birgitta Gatersleben

Universite de Libre de Bruxelles, University of Kent, University of Surrey

 

Abstract:

Public engagement in pro-environmental behavior and support for pro-environmental policy are essential for achieving sustainable living. We propose that the “moral circle” is a common motivational source for engagement in environmentally beneficial activities across situations and may be thus drawn upon to efficiently promote these activities. Study 1 established an association between chronic moral circle size and nine pro-environmental activities from different domains. Via experimental manipulation of the moral circle size, Studies 2a–d demonstrated its causal effect on intentions to engage in pro-environmental activities. Together, these studies offer an important initial demonstration of the beneficial consequences of more expansive moral circle in the domain of pro-environmentalism. Routes for expanding the moral circle and thus promoting pro-environmental activities are discussed.

BONDING, BIOPHILIA, BIOSYNERGY AND THE FUTURE PRIMATES OF THE WORLD

 

Author:

Anthony L. Rose

The Biosynergy Institute

 

Abstract: 

Human and nonhuman primates bond with one another in countless ways, and the results are varied and vital to the individuals and species involved. The manifesto that is the basis for the collection of essays in which this commentary is included proposes that the ‘‘human/nonhuman bonds that arise in primatological research and practice deserve and demand study and research.’’ An essential corollary of this proposal is that the primatologists themselves must be studied. The aim of this essay is to explore the influence of human/nonhuman primate bonding on conservation practice and on the future of primates in the wild. This commentary applies the author’s professional experience as a conservation psychologist and his research on the impact of profound interspecies bonds on human worldviews,

attitudes, and behavior. It examines two general categories of bonds: those driven by Biophilia (human

fascination with life) and those influenced by Biosynergy (mutual enrichment of life). It is the author’s

premise that biosynergy promotes complex collaborative interspecies bonds that broaden the

conservationist’s desire to enhance synergy among all organisms in an ecosystem. Conversely, biophilia

induces relatively simple unidirectional bonds between humans and other animals that deepen the

conservationist’s desire to understand and protect certain species. This contrast raises some crucial

questions. Do biophilia-driven bonds between conservationists and their favorite primates blind them

to the synergistic needs of all species and impair their ability to work for sustained preservation of

threatened habitat? Does biosynergy-based human/nature bonding enhance focus on conservation as an ecological science and thus ignore species-specific factors crucial to assure survival of endangered primates? How can both types of bonds be optimally applied to the conservation of wildlife and wilderness?