A Practical Path for a Successful Planet
If you have not read Part 1, please read it first here
Promising parts for a new vision of ecological sustainability are already afoot. India, Bolivia, Ecuador and districts in the state of Pennsylvania and throughout New England have enacted Earth-centered constitution declaring, for example, the inalienable rights of “natural communities and ecosystems,” to possess the same rights to survival and “living well” as humans. You can read more about this here and in the newly released book, The Rights of Nature: The Case for a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth, produced by the Council of Canadians, Global Exchange and Fundacion Pachamama.
Unfortunately, it is still legal to “make money” (especially gobs of it) without being truly accountable for the negative side-effects of production. When windfall monetary gain and supernatural power for their own sake are the primary motivation for work, care is both diminished and devalued. Sacrificing profits is avoided at all costs to the point that doing business becomes fanatical, unrelinquishable, and manically pursued with religious zeal. This is driven by the dictatorship of the linear, left brained, conquer and dominate mentality. Extending this plummeting and primarily profits-based mentality to considering our planet’s current and future energy choices underlies our current ecological, economic and health crises.
In contrast, an Eco-centric paradigm favors economic choices based on what might allow humanity to survive with a standard of living worth being alive for: clean air, water, food, good health, happy and healthy children in birthright possession of their full mental capacities and with their limbs all in tact. Please add to this birthright a still wild, fertile, and a highly diversified ecosystem which nurtures us on every level. Making extraordinary amounts of money through heartless work is innocuous enough if it did not negatively impact the rest of the world. But this is not reality, and by definition, likely impossible.
Excessive greed to the degree of pervasive violence to the rest of life, along with its attendant lack of soul, are hastening planetary collapse. Intense greed is a misplaced spirituality, the acting out of an impoverished and vacuous inner life. When we use greed and monetary success for their own sake to accumulate resources and symbols of power rather than becoming powerful and resourceful through a rich inner life, sustainable progress is crippled. Inner resourcefulness allows us to deeply enjoy, be filled by, and want to protect the simple beauties of life. We may find ourselves not needing, nor even wanting, external complexities that impede our direct experience of beauty and genuine fulfillment. We discover that we actually have to fight off what others bust their butts to attain: needless stuff.
The myriad forms of greed and hoarding are attempts to satiate the longing for true power—the power of love, the abundance and enjoyment of natural beauty, and the peace of mind that comes from inner security. Inner security is that rooted in self-knowledge and the confidence and courage to honestly face and be transformed into a better person through life’s challenges, including the relentless impositions of National Security!
At the other end of the eco-social spectrum we have the New Age movement whose idea of creating “abundance” is fine when pursued for basic life necessities and perhaps a few luxuries. But when pursued beyond what is needed to lead a reasonably comfortable, sustainable and soulful life, the quest for “abundance” is but a euphemism, a disguise for the same perversion of power and consumerism that is undermining our commonwealth, our souls, our unhampered joy, and the whole of Nature.