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Social aspects of environmental protection
Wellershaus, S. (1992). Social aspects of environmental protection. Publ. Ser. Neth. Inst. Sea Res. 20: 113-115
In: Publication Series. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). NIOZ: Den Burg. ISSN 0923-330X, more

Also published as
  • Wellershaus, S. (1992). Social aspects of environmental protection, in: Dankers, N.M.J.A. et al. (Ed.) Present and Future Conservation of the Wadden Sea: Proceedings of the 7th International Wadden Sea Symposium, Ameland 1990. 20: pp. 113-115, more

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  • Wellershaus, S.

    So far, very little success has been achieved throughout the decades of effort taken by environmentalists to improve the protection of nature. These days, a sense of disillusionment is found among the people involved. It must be asked why the success has remained so meagre. After so many scientifically backed programmes and conferences -why does the destruction of nature continue, most probably with increasing speed? Has the community failed, mankind, the politicians or industry? Has science failed? Have the scientists failed? In this lecture, I try to question the present role of the scientists: not going beyond the limits of their special field of science, not asking about the actual roots of the failure, not going to the public and informing people about the real causes, not investigating behind the veil of general announcements that everything is in the grip of responsible people. Because it is man who destroys nature, all efforts to save nature and environment must -it seems- start with the root question: is man sane? And who is really responsible for all this? And how can a possible lack of sanity -if this proves to be the case- be dealt with in order to save the basis of life? In this sense, science is well equipped to go into the details of man's misconduct. It means-that scientists will have to go far beyond oceanography and the like if they want to contribute to the preservation of life in the environment -and it is their own and their children's basis for life that is possibly endangered. 'When man wants to proceed one step towards ruling the outer nature through the art of organisation and technique, they must have done three steps inward for the ethical deepening beforehand.' (Novalis 1880)

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