Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Changing the World
Time to focus on the positive - focusing on the negative is just making me miserable.
So here's a book that could spark a discussion about creating a sustainable future.
I interviewed author Peter Brown today. The idea is based on the Quaker concept of Right Relationship. That means that no one interest prospers at the expense of others or the expense of the general good. The question this book poses is simple: what if we built an economy based on the realization that our environment is fragile and its resources are limited instead of an economy based on using it up?
The authors propose a solution that will hit some as radical; the creation of a global federation with all existing countries becoming member states. The creation of a global court that can enforce agreements made by that federation. Rule by consensus, not majority. An economy based on awareness of environmental impacts, meaning more local economies, more local thinking.
Brown says any concerns about loss of sovereignty are misguided - that's already been lost. He points to the fact that the United States is in debt to China up to its eyeballs.
What's required, he says, is a mass public rejection of the current economic values, an acknowledgement that they don't work and a demand for reform. He says there is precedent for such a sea change - he points to anti-smoking campaigns, anti-drunk driving campaigns, civil rights and even anti-slavery movements of the past.
There are resources for learning more, for deciding what could work and what couldn't. This book is a good starting point for discussion, particularly the Quaker emphasis on consensus. It can work. It has. He argues that now it must.
International Day of Climate Action
Gund Institute for Ecological Economics