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An economy that serves people and nature, not the other way around

An economy that serves people and nature, not the other way around | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

Snippets from Christine Milne's speech at the National Press Club in Canberra.

26 Sep 2012


"The economy is a tool; a tool we humans invented - like democracy and politics - to help govern our relationships between each other, and between ourselves and the world we live in. If our economic tools are not getting the outcomes we want, making us happy, safe, healthy, better educated and fulfilled and protecting and preparing our country for an increasingly uncertain future in a world on track to be 4 degrees warming, then it is time our economic tools changed."


"Most of the battles of political philosophy over the last two centuries have been about competing views of how to run an economy. Where the old economic right, broadly speaking, has sought to create a 'strong' economy and the old left sought to create a 'fair' economy, neither has grappled with how an economy can be strong or fair when ecological limits are being reached: 'without environment there is no economy'."


"What is not excusable is that the old parties continue to do so. They have failed to keep up over recent decades when the huge ecological challenges of the 21st century - from accelerating global warming to food and water shortages, from air and water pollution to energy crises and resource depletion in a world headed to 9 billion people - have become overwhelming. How can we say we are working towards a strong or fair economy when we aren't addressing these challenges? Just as we hit the limits, the big old parties are moving closer to each other and further out of touch with what people and the real world need."


"To set us on our new path, a path to an economy which serves the needs of people and nature, both for today and for tomorrow:

  • We will need new economic tools;
  • We will need to learn to do more with less;
  • We will need to reprioritise our investments; and
  • We will need sensible management of taxation and revenue to fund these investments.
It is a case of rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle"

"What will be different is that we will have replaced the idea that Australia's wealth is dependent on digging-it-up, cutting-it-down and shipping-it-overseas with the knowledge that our prosperity depends at a personal and collective level on our brains, on our health, on our creativity and on a healthy environment."


"But are the Greens actually anti-growth? That depends on what you are growing and how it is measured. I am for growing natural, human, social, manufactured and financial capital and I am against growing global warming, species extinction, poverty, poor health, inequality, conflict and corruption."


"The Greens want to see everyone given the opportunity to "practise the Art of Living", we want to see people lifted out of poverty, and we know that unless this is done while protecting the environment which sustains us it can only last a very short time. That is what growth is supposed to achieve. The problem is, we measure it with the wrong tools; tools which tell us we're growing when in fact we're not.

If economic growth as it is currently measured isn't actually making us happier, healthier, cleverer or safer then it isn't real growth. If we are growing our economy in defiance of physical limits, that isn't real growth: it's a confidence trick."

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How Can We Make Green An Identity?

How Can We Make Green An Identity? | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

Dan McAdams, a narrative psychologist at Northwestern University, studies the personal life stories of people. His research shows that our personal identities do not come from personality traits or the issues that concern us at any particular time in our lives. Our identities come from the stories we tell (often unconsciously) that bring the episodes of life together into a coherent unity. These stories incorporate our concerns and express our interpretations of inherited dispositions (e.g. outgoing and sociable), but do not become an identity until they are brought together into a narrative.


This is where we can begin to think about the cultivation of ‘green’ identity. It has to do with the stories we tell ourselves about how we relate to our communities, purchases, nature, and so on.


A major obstacle to the environmental movement has been the use of stories to discredit environmental concerns. A heavily funded series of campaigns have been waged to paint environmentalists with negative stereotypes.


via Joe Brewer

Cognitive Policy Works

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Why I Decided, 11 Years Ago, to Live Without Money

Why I Decided, 11 Years Ago, to Live Without Money | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

Daniel Suelo's decision to live without money was conceived on a backpacking trip to Alaska in 1998.  He writes, 

 

"Thus began a hypothesis of why wild nature’s economy is balanced while the commercial economy is not and can never be. I saw that nature is a constant free current – a true currency, that is. Money and possession represent our control, our interruption, of nature’s current, both in our minds and in our environment."

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The Blood of the Earth, or Pulp Nonfiction

The Blood of the Earth, or Pulp Nonfiction | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

Our core narrative, the story into which every serious thinker is required to fit his or her thoughts, is the narrative of progress—the story that defines all of human existence as a single great upward trajectory from the caves to the stars, and insists that the present is better than the past and the future will inevitably be better still. The problem with that narrative, of course, is that for most people the present is significantly worse than the past—standards of living for most Americans, for example, have been declining for more than thirty years—and the future promises to be even worse than the present. The narrative of progress has no room for that perception; in public life, the only way in which it’s possible to bring it up at all is to suggest that someone or something is to blame for the temporary lack of progress, and then offer a plan to get the obstacle out of the way so that progress can get under way once more.


Via James Burns
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Part of Nature cartoon by Stuart McMillen - Recombinant Records

Part of Nature cartoon by Stuart McMillen - Recombinant Records | The Next Edge | Scoop.it
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Dangerous Narratives and How They Affect You (And Our Planet)

Dangerous Narratives and How They Affect You (And Our Planet) | The Next Edge | Scoop.it
We should be concerned that that unsustainable stories have formed a powerful hegemonic discourse that have legitimized a trajectory to an uninhabitable planet.

Via Flora Moon, David Hodgson
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Rio+20: This is not the 'future we want' – Bolivian social movement response to UN draft agreement

Rio+20: This is not the 'future we want' – Bolivian social movement response to UN draft agreement | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

"It is wrong to assume that deepening the neoliberal model via a green economy will simultaneously lead to sustainable economic development, the eradication of poverty and the maintenance and management of ecosystems. As peoples of the world we know this is the same neoliberal model – even more inhuman – that will exacerbate social inequalities that have destroyed and harmed Mother Earth and nature."

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