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Title page for ETD etd-12222008-135452

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Harper, Sally Anne
URN etd-12222008-135452
Document Title Towards the development of a "green" worldview, and criteria to assess the "green-ness" of a text : Namibia Vision 2030 as example
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Prof WJ Jordaan
  • environmentalism
  • environmental philosophy
  • Namibia Vision 2030
  • ecologism
  • social ecology
  • animal rights
  • deep ecology
  • ecofeminism
  • green politics
  • Die Grünen
Date 2008-04-01
Availability unrestricted

This study assumes, rather than debates, that there is an increasingly global environmental crisis – global warming, loss of ozone layer, biodiversity loss, deforestation and desertification, natural resource depletion, toxic pollution - brought about by western nations’ abuse of the natural environment during nineteenth century industrialization, continuing through the twentieth century, and, many would argue, into the new millennium as well.

Greens have been warning of the dangers of human-induced climate change since the 1960s. And yet, their analysis of the reasons for the wide and global range of ecological problems currently being experienced, of which climate change is only one, is not widely known. And even less so, are their solutions to the ecological crisis.

This thesis, “Towards the development of a "green" worldview, and criteria to assess the "green-ness" of a text: Namibia Vision 2030 as example”, poses two research questions, and undertakes three tasks. The first question asks: “What does ‘seeing green’ as worldview mean?” “Green” emerges as not only pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours, but a fundamental challenge to western-cultural views on Self, and on the Self/Other relationship, including our human-nature relationship. It represents a total worldview, with its own legitimating narratives, epistemology, ontology, ethics, and viewpoints on real-world political issues as well. The green worldview differs sharply in its ultimate premises from mainstream sustainable development. On the green view, only the radical changes in Self, the Self/Other relationship, and society’s structures, which a green worldview demands, will be sufficient to avert the impending ecological crisis.

A green worldview, while containing considerable diversity, is still sufficiently coherent and consistent that it can be reduced to a set of criteria and indicators for “seeing green”. This was the study’s second task.

The study’s third task co-incides with its second research question: “How green is Namibia Vision 2030s worldview?” Namibia Vision 2030 is Namibia’s premier policy text designed to guide Namibia through a generation of sustainable development. Using the green criteria and indicators developed during the study, it is argued that particularly as far as this text’s ultimate premises on the human/nature relationship are concerned, its worldview is best described as pale green fading into grey.

© University of Pretoria 2008


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