The main focus of this chapter is to explore whether ecological utopias are capable of providing a useful contribution to our quest for an ecologically responsible future and sustainable society, and in what specific ways. I shall develop a model of ecological utopias as a distant point of orientation, or as a ‘navigational compass’. In this model ecotopias may gradually influence the course of concrete decision making in the direction of a future sustainable society. In this context, a strategic issue to be confronted by the green movement is to look for an eco-friendly view on ‘the good life’ and the ‘art of living’. The basic dimensions of a sustainable lifestyle and an utopian inspired ecological ‘art of living’ are that society's focus should be shifted from ‘having’ to ‘being’, and to find a balanced configuration of the vita activa: action, work and labour. It is also vital to find forms of hedonism which are independent of mass consumerism, to relate our material consumption to our ecological footprints in systematic ways, and to cultivate ecological virtues and moral character.
de Geus, M. (2009), "Chapter 4 Utopian sustainability: Ecological utopianism", Leonard, L. and Barry, J. (Ed.) The Transition to Sustainable Living and Practice (Advances in Ecopolitics, Vol. 4), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 77-100. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2041-806X(2009)0000004007Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited