Panda coinJos Tissen

A visualization of the conflict between development and conservation

This page aims to visualize the conflict between development and conservation. Sets of images are presented to show that an incomplete definition of nature and an incomplete sense of accountability will ultimately hinder our progress.
Boat navigating the riverJos Tissen

Exploration of environmental responsibility

This article explores the meaning of the term environmental responsibility. It makes a distinction between healthy responsibility and unhealthy responsibility. I believe that modern environmentalism leads to disproportionate feelings of responsibility and immobilization. Responsibility is not only about your own behavior, but also about your interaction with others and about the context of your behavior. If we act on this, we may discover our underlying motivation and see new ways to improve the situation at least a little bit.
Modern and classic windmills and Jean Jacques RousseauJos Tissen

Beyond the ideas of Jean Jacques Rousseau

The success of contemporary environmentalism is largely due to the philosophy of Jean Jacques Rousseau. It is unfortunate that the movement doesn't seem to realize that their success is also limited by his philosophy. The question how our environmental impacts should be reduced is no longer the right one. It should be replaced with the question: how do you want to live on this planet?
Train in front of The Hague skylineJos Tissen

Polarization and reducing the environmental burden

Polarized engagements are normal and almost feel natural. Why is it beneficial to continue like this; who wins? In this post, I would like to demonstrate that a polarized approach is ineffective and how environmental communication can be improved. Simple logical tests can be applied to invalidate polarized arguments and to identify common ground. An analysis of payoffs and costs can reveal further options for bridging differences.
Tulips_cultural symbol of the NetherlandsJos Tissen

Reducing environmental impact without making anybody wrong

It is not difficult to blame nuclear energy, meat, cars, fossil fuels, windmills, coal plants or intensive farming for the world’s environmental problems. Is it possible to reduce our environmental impact without making anybody wrong? This article shows the mechanisms behind these accusations. That insight invites people to see new opportunities and make creative choices.
Sheeps bones in field; very much natureJos Tissen

The definition of the words nature and natural

Roture is an existing word in French, but in this post, I introduce a new and different meaning of the word. Contemporary Western environmental thinking uses the word nature in a manner that is ill-suited for environmental challenges such as the debate about global warming.
Theater visitors in anticipationJos Tissen

The difference between subjective and objective environmental data

Informed decisions need to be based on unbiased information; but is that even possible? It is important to realize that questions and statements are value driven. When I look at data, I want to separate the facts from their cultural interpretation.
Staged battle in fieldJos Tissen

Which side to choose in a polarized environmental debate

Despite believing that the polarization around environmental issues is grounded in our common culture and that the resulting conflict is artificial, I still find the feud between parties frustrating. If only I could tempt parties to stop their rant long enough for them to discover that their differences are not real.
Sculture by Tom Otterness on Scheveningen beachJos Tissen

Remain constructive amidst polarized views

In my mind, human development and environmental protection are equally important. As a species, we will continue to shape our surroundings to fashion our own needs. I am also a firm believer in people as a force for good, and see technology as the hand that makes us more sustainable. I see modern environmentalism as a product of human development and not as a reason for alarm.