I have been a tree hugger since I was 14. I was hooked by the sense that we are all dependent upon the global ecosystem. This seems to be the first that I grasped the importance of systems and our understanding of systems. Out of appreciation for the global ecosystem I progressed from interest in
recycling projects to
interest in energy matters to
urban design to
economics. Of course concern for justice, and for conservation and protection of nature were always intact.
I feel that now I have gotten at the root cause of our most significant environmental problems. Our current economic system insists on infinite growth on a finite planet. How ironic at this time when the scientists who take the trouble to see whether economic activity exceeds the Earth's carrying capacity find that we are in excess for sustaining quality of life. This includes the condition of our climate, fresh water, biodiversity and soil. My discovery of the steady state economy lead me to understand that things don't have to be how they have been, just as we no longer assume that the Earth is flat or that it is the center of our planetary system. We can indeed implement a paradigm of economics that regards the Earth as our life support system, rather than as a place in which we can have infinite extraction and pollution without serious consequences. Now as Thomas Kuhn says in "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" no paradigm is absolute, so at best what I can claim to promote is the closest thing to a truth at this time. Design can be a useful tool in advocacy for steady state economy and in the context of the sse.
Happy New Year, my old friend. May the Co-ops flourish in 2009.
Thanks for the opportunity to help in any way possible. Perhaps I could write a story about the organization for a local pub. Let's talk.
Peace and Understanding
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The essay below is part of an ongoing literary project sponsored by Sustainable Indiana 2016. In short, the group has collected “so many stories of Hoosiers taking a more sustainable path that we can literally write the book on how green living in Indiana is taking off.” See [...]
Whoa, readers! There seems to be some confusion over a recent “Ask Renee” that I’d like to clarify immediately. A reader named Ginger asked me if Ray’s and Republic are picking through the TRASH to pull out recyclables. My answer says that no, they are not picking through the [...]