Environmental Violence: Trying to Understand, Confront and Reduce our Damage

Dr. Kool begins with the thought-provoking question: “what is violence?” He shows brief film footage of animals hunting in the wild and Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey (some may find this brief footage disturbing) to get us thinking about this initial question. Dr. Kool then draws on his extensive background in environmental education to show that, despite much conversation about loss and contamination, movements to conserve the environment have not described human impact on the environment as a form of violence. Dr. Kool invites us to understand environmental destruction as a form of violence and to be particularly concerned about the structural violence that is indirect and unintentional, but to which we are all contributors. Ultimately the focus on violence is a pathway to hope as Dr. Kool turns draws on analysis of peace scholar Johan Galtung, known as the “father” of Peace Studies, to highlight peace-making tools that can help us reduce environmental violence.