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ECOSYSTEM AND ECONOMY February 11, 2013

Posted by wmmbb in Natural Environment, Social Environment.
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Perhaps the state of the ecosystem is worst than we might like to imagine. It may be in such a state that a rational person cannot ignore it. Can capitalism as it has evolved be allowed to continue? The environmental crisis, if it can be recognized is a crisis for corporate capitalism.

Robert Jensen summarizes  the case in Truthout. Long story short: things are now so crook with the planetary life support system, the ecosystem, we had better do something the condition, if we are to live, let alone live well.

Robert Jensen writes:

Rather than claiming divine inspiration, we can come to greater clarity about the desperate state of the ecosphere and its human inhabitants through evidence and reason. It is time for a calm, measured apocalypticism that recognizes that the ecosphere sets norms, which we have ignored for too long, and that we need to develop a new sense of solidarity among humans and with the larger living world.

So, speaking apocalyptically need not leave us stuck in a corner with the folks predicting lakes of fire, rivers of blood or bodies lifted up to the heavens. Instead, it can focus our attention on ecological realities and on the unjust and unsustainable human systems that have brought us to this point.

This “revelation” is simple: We’ve built a world based on the assumption that we will have endless energy to subsidize endless economic expansion, which was supposed to magically produce justice. That world is over, both in reality and in dreams. Either we begin to build a different world, or there will be no world capable of sustaining a large-scale human presence.

If that’s not clear: When we take seriously what physics, chemistry and biology tell us about the health of the living world on which we depend, we all should be thinking apocalyptically. Look at any crucial measure of the ecosphere – groundwater depletion; topsoil loss; chemical contamination; increased toxicity in our own bodies; the number and size of “dead zones” in the oceans, accelerating extinction of species and reduction of biodiversity; and the ultimate game-changer of climate disruption – and ask a simple question: Where we are heading? Scientists these days are talking about tipping points and planetary boundaries, about how human activity is pushing the planet beyond its limits.

If we look honestly at the state of the world, it is difficult not to conclude that we are in end times of sorts – not the end of the physical world, but the end of the First-World way of living and the end of the systems on which that life is based.

Religious fundamentalists are not the people that concern me. I am more concerned about economic fundamentalists. More fundamentally, puns aside, it is a psychological issue of the need for closure, discomfit with uncertainty and dismissal of evidence. If the warning signs and related evidence, which exists in abundance is summarily dismissed then we are making a bet on the future without understanding the nature of the risk.

We might pause to remember that the risks of nuclear war have not gone away, but were managed. The international order is changing now, as it has in history by trade and communication, technology and the methods of murder. Injustice persists as does untruth.

Probably more than twenty years ago – Carl Sagan died aged 62 in 1996 – was adamant about the dangers of Greenhouse Gases and need to work together.

Carl Sagan’s comments regarding Corporations takes on some significance when seen in the context of Greg Palast’s report on The Real News:

The pipeline is apparently a decision for the Obama Administration. Others have observed that the processed oil will be exported internationally, and not just to the Carribean.

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