All our economic activities are transforming ecosystems and threatening the natural habitats that support all forms of life. This is what is known as the Anthropocene. Its advent corresponds with the beginnings of capitalism and with the industrial revolution, justifying for some the neologism “the capitalocene”. The destruction of our commons - the climates, environments and species of Earth - seems irreversible, threatening life on Earth.
As things are misunderstood, as the economy is misconceived as coming before the house, the economic growth of some of the world’s rich nations (typically) from the North Hemisphere contrasts with that of some of the world’s poorest nations (typically) from the South Hemisphere. However, if the house was conceived before the economy, the economy will grow if massive investments are made in the houses, cities, and species of Earth (in poverty reduction, food and energy security, and gender equity). For example, relating to the fundamental elements of human social life, these widescale changes include gender parity initiatives in health, education, and employment, and a range of measures for reducing poverty, such as a trillion-dollar green job fund for low-income countries and debt cancellation. It also requires trillion-dollar investments in electrifying energy systems and wealth taxes.
When comparing the fundamental elements of human social life to those of other species, analogies must be used because many of the functions these elements serve are simply not served by any other primate species. Primates lack large cooperative enterprises, as well as the associated loyalty, fidelity, and developed skills. They also do not have stable homes or families. But carnivores that hunt do. And neither apes nor wolves have the same length of life as humans, and thus the same opportunity to accumulate wisdom and deepen relationships. However, elephants do. And no mammal has the same strong visual interest that we do in our social lives and in our art, nor does it need to work as hard to rear its young as we do. However, birds do. This is why talking about "the difference between man and animal" without specifying which animal is meaningless. Environmentalism absolutely requires a social rather than an individualist standpoint. It is much more interested in cooperation than in competition. It also uses a wider perspective which makes concentration on the human economic model look oddly narrow and arbitrary.
Philosophy is well-suited, given its distinctive tools, techniques, and assumptions, to clarify, and while this may sometimes involve criticizing faulty reasoning, it need not. Here are just two examples of some ways in which philosophy can clarify: the concept of home and the concept of economy.
Alhumayani, H., Gomaa, M., Soebarto, V., Jabi, W. 2020. "Environmental assessment of large-scale 3D printing in construction: A comparative study between cob and concrete." Journal of Cleaner Production, 270, 122463.
Asprone, D., Auricchio, F., Menna, C., Mercuri, V. 2018. "3D printing of reinforced concrete elements: Technology and design approach." Construction and Building Materials, 165, 218–231.
Bertagni, M.B., Pacala, S.W., Paulot, F. and Porporato, A. 2022. "Risk of the hydrogen economy for atmospheric methane." Nature Communitations, 13.