Environments (plural)

It’s irritates me whenever I hear someone speak of “the environment,” because there are many environments. There are as many environments as there are systems. A dog, with its acute sense of smell, has a very different environment than a human being. A bat, with its sonar system, has another very different environment, etc., etc. But if you think in terms of “the environment,” you are also likely to talk about “our natural resources” meaning stuff (water, trees, oil, livestock, etc.) we can use to fuel capitalism.

On another level, when a political conservative claims that everyone has an equal chance at getting rich or otherwise being successful, he is claiming that everyone shares the same environment. This is the basis of ignorance about things like white privilege. If you talk about things like white privilege, male privilege,  or heterosexual privilege, a conservative will accuse you of lacking common sense. For him it’s just common sense that we all live in the same world.

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