Earth Day as a Residual Western Hegemonic Movement of the Global Mass Culture

The Earth Day Network and their different campaigns throughout the world are bringing the issue of environmental degradation to the world. The environmental movement really is a Western movement because the people of this part of the world have the time, means and free time to consider this issue in addition to food security and overall national security. People of the Global South are, most of the time, only worried about where clean water will come from and not how to fix the causes or their next meal.  This also makes it difficult to treat environmental issues after an area has gone so long without implementation of environmentally sound practices. For example I went to Dakar, Senegal during my semester abroad. In the city and surrounding villages that we visited there was trash everywhere. This was because the idea of throwing things away into the waterways and roadways was not a problem until non-biodegradable materials were introduced into their culture from the West as we learned from a local environmental lawyer in Rufisque. He was there implementing and teaching recycling and waste management to his local community. It was coming along very successfully; it just has taken time to teach the community a whole new mentality of waste management.  Though these measures are being brought to certain areas, there are still many others places in different countries that do not understand the concepts of recycling and proper waste management to keep their land and water resources clean. The environmental movement is a necessary one especially with the amount of industrialization and expansion that is occurring around the world. Sustainability needs to be a front and center issue at the global level, but it needs to be addressed at the local level to ensure it is carried out indefinitely.  From what I have researched that seems to be the aim of the Earth Day Network and Earth Day itself, to teach and spread the word of environmentalism and sustainability all over the world. The environmental movement as a whole seems to be challenging the typical hegemonic model of capitalism in favor of these residual, subjugated ideas of human’s responsibility to the land and bringing it into the spotlight of government and human consciousness through the inclusion of the subaltern in the process with grassroots and community organization.

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