Towards a new paradigm

James David Parker – Trustee and Political Liaison Coordinator for the Simultaneous Policy UK (SIMPOL-UK)

When Galileo Galilei claimed that the earth revolved around the sun instead of celestial subjects revolving around the earth it broke away from conventional knowledge. This eventually led to a new level of understanding and cooperation. Human centric laws encourage people to ‘believe’ the myth that we are separate from our environment and thus ‘conquering’ technology continues to develop; which attempts to create a civilisation independent from nature.

If Global Governance was encouraged then people would regard themselves as part of the globe and recognise their dependence on the ecosystem and therefore more collaborative types of eco-technology would develop.

We need international laws that develop earth centered strategies in order to develop eco-technology as a means of social – economic responsibility and international security.

It is apparent that a growing human population and self-centred world economy have increased the pressure on our ecosystem. The agricultural land, climate, forests, coastal areas, lakes and oceans have all shown signs of excessive strain and ill-treatment. Some have argued that humanity is far away from environmental constraints but evidence overwhelmingly shows that the environmental capacity to support us is already being exceeded. The simple truth is that a far ‘greater’ level of international cooperation is needed if humanity is going to survive this crisis. The problem lies in each country’s pursuit of its own interest’s to gain comparative advantage over other states.

This is achieved by a total commitment to economic growth based on the production, utilisation and consumption of natural resources. In that it is argued that by destroying the rain forest within a territory it would lead to a ‘comparative advantage’ by raising exports and therefore gaining short term economic growth. However this would lead to long term unsustainable economic growth since the rain forest essentially keeps the ecosystem in balance and thus the ecosystem is the foundation of economic growth.

The Industrial Revolution defined the competitive nature of the nation state and sovereignty creating classical liberalism.[1] However at the same time it changed the relationship between humanity and nature (developed during the Enlightenment philosophy from Hegel, Descartes and John Stuart Mill) where human activities were seen as separate from nature. While the perceived idea of separation between humanity and nature led to advancements in certain areas, such as global ‘human’ communications and the expansion of urban infrastructure; in the long term however, this unconscious delusion hasn’t allowed the basic ecological conditions of life to continue to thrive on earth because it is enclosed within national interests.

As the Environmental Lawyer Cormac Cullinan stated:

Our species has a major governance crisis, and far-reaching changes in how we regulate human behaviour are essential for the sake of the Earth and all its inhabitants. A good starting point would be to recognise that our governance systems are still based on the philosophies of Descartes, Bacon and Newton. They saw the universe as a complex machine that we could understand by dissecting and analysing its component parts. Allied to this was the conviction that humans are the rightful owners and masters of this universe of objects, with a right to use it for the exclusive benefit of the human species. This world-view created a barrier between humans and ‘nature’. It also led us into the dangerous delusion that we can disengage ourselves from the fate of the planet and live happily in a human world in which technology can provide all we desire, instead of the Earth providing all we need.”[2]

 

The industrialized countries developed their economies over the past 150 years in part by treating the atmosphere and natural resources as free and unlimited and therefore unconsciously generating the great quantities of GHGs. We have since become conscious of this process and have become more aware of our interconnectedness with nature through quantum physics, ecology, global communication, and holistic understanding.

Therefore we need to act more intelligently and responsibly and need to transcend the dysfunctional and out dated modes of production that are now endangering the planet.

As the Philosopher Thomas Berry stated:

Our ethical traditions know how to deal with suicide, homicide and even genocide; but these traditions collapse entirely when confronted with biocide, the extinction of the vulnerable life systems of the Earth, and geocide, the devastation of the Earth itself.”[3]


[1]For example see: Adam Smith ‘The Wealth of Nations’ (1776)

[2]Cormac Cullinan ‘Justice for All’ Article published in Resurgence Magazine No.216. (Sept/Oct 2002)

[3]Thomas Berry ‘The Great Work: Our Way into the Future.’ Crown Publications (1 Feb 2000) p104

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Towards a new paradigm

  1. We will all, every person everywhere, need a say in our own direct recorded words in the aspects of nature being dealt with.

    Otherwise, if anyone says oh no impractical to give everyone that right, then inevitably someone’s environment somewhere will still get trodden on by arrogance and it will eventually hurt us all. No excuses about keeping opinion led by a publishable elite will wash.
    My greatest humanitarian concern is for the voices of folks living where there are dangerous human predator animals. It will be murder not to hear them, and it will be murder not to deal with the danger from the animals even if that goes against where the safe Westerners’ new PC sense of nature wants to go. it is already murder for Westerners who live in safe places to support conservation of human predator animals, e.g. tigers, white sharks, crocodiles, as is fashionable to do. There are many ways we could coexist with nature more than we do now, but not in ways that throw away our own lives.

    We do have an obvious natural right of self defence to exterminate all the predator species capable of eating us. We are obscene and evil as an intelligent species that instead of wanting to do this, we think, oh dear that might lose us a money and tourism resource and oh well only someone else will be in danger not me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s