It's a new year, so let's start with a new idea: a democratic body to safeguard the basic needs and fundamental interests of future people.
That is the proposal of Rupert Read, a philosopher at the University of East Anglia, in a report called Guardians of the Future for the think tank Green House. The core idea is both radical and straightforward: a council of "Guardians of Future Generations", chosen like a jury from the general public, would sit above the existing law-making bodies and have two core powers. A power to veto legislation that threatened the basic needs and interests of future people and the power to force a review, following suitable public petition, of any existing legislation that threatens the interests of future people.
In the wake of the failed climate talks in South Africa, Polly Higgins reports an increasing interest in Ecocide as a way forward to control climate change and calls for support for the campaign to make Ecocide a new international law.
More and more people are becoming interested in growing their own food. But our ability to take this essential step towards a sustainable future is being stifled by the radical inequalities of land distribution, in a country where patterns of land-ownership have changed little since feudal times, and the access to land of those who don’t own it has actually diminished. We will not be able to succeed in our Transition aims without challenging these inequalities and improving access to land for the many.
When communities try to keep corporations from engaging in activities they don’t want, they often find they don’t have the legal power to say “no.” Why? Because our current legal structure too often protects the “rights” of corporations over the rights of actual human beings.
Another obstacle to the impact economy's expansion came crumbling down earlier this week when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation creating a legal structure for social enterprises in his state.
The bill allows corporations to organize themselves as Benefit Corporations, for-profit entities that have a specific social mission.