"Humanity has passed, or will soon pass, what we understand to be the safe boundary conditions of a number of global biophysical systems. Our trajectory amounts to an extraordinary, even existential roll of the dice. Can we survive in conditions that humanity has literally never faced? Can we bring our species in line with the long-term sustainable carrying capacity of the earth before earth does it for us? Can we make the shift while still growing in learning, prosperity, and freedom? The stakes could not be higher.Speaking of framing, I have said before that "environmentalism" is not the best choice of term for a movement concerned about ecological issues. It is not about an environment that is external to us and might be of interest to those who study biology or natural history, or who enjoy beautiful landscapes, bushwalking or birdwatching. Ecology is the logos of our oikos, the logic of our house. And as such it is intimately related to the economy, the nomos of our oikos, the human laws or management of our house. If we don't base our management on the underlying logic of the living systems in which we participate then we are fouling our own nest, destroying our own home and dismantling our own prosperity.
"If we meet the challenge of sustainability -- and it's a big if -- it will be a tidal shift in human history on par with the [rise of] agriculture, industrialization, or democracy itself.
"'Environmentalism' is simply not equipped to transform the basis of human culture. It grew up to address a specific, bounded set of issues."
Saturday, August 14, 2010
article by David Roberts in which he argues that the association of climate change with a narrow and partisan interest group (at least in US politics) has framed the discussion in unhelpful ways, and has failed to communicate the true scope of the issue, which is bigger than the environmental lobby, bigger than the preservation of particular species or ecosystems, bigger even than climate change itself.