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Economics of Sustainability Conference

The Economics of Sustainability

Economics of Sustainability conference will focus on the intersection of Economics and the Environment. What will the Earth look like in 2030, 2050, or 2100? Can we organize economic relationships to honor the carrying capacity of the Earth? Can we implement economic models that respect the Earth and its finite boundaries?

October 6 – 9, 2014
Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA USA

Economics of Sustainability conference will focus on the intersection of Economics and the Environment.

What will the Earth look like in 2030, 2050, or 2100? Can we organize economic relationships to honor the carrying capacity of the Earth? Can we implement economic models that respect the Earth and its finite boundaries?

How will we mitigate the effects of climate change in a way that honors the Earth and puts people before profit?

Programs will include workshops, networking meetings, action groups, and outstanding presentations from economists, scientists, activists, and leaders in the environmental movement. The goal is to launch a platform for systemic change — economically, culturally, politically — and to network organizations for collaborative efforts in that pursuit.

Confirmed Speakers: Gar Alperovitz, Ellen Brown, Richard Heinberg, Michael Brune, Randy Hayes, Mark Hertsgaard, Mark Z. Jacobson, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin (Richmond, CA), David Korten, Andrew Kimbrell Janet Redmond, Jihan Gearon, Don Shaffer, Nikki Silvestri, Osprey Orielle Lake, George Lakoff, Georgia Kelly, Representatives from the Mondragon Cooperatives (Spain): Pio Aguirre, Michael Peck, and more!

Learn more at http://praxispeace.org/conference14.php

Creating a World Beyond Growth

In her October 5th Earth Island Journal article Creating a World Beyond Growth, Suzanne York explores how Recognizing Rights of Nature can Help us Achieve a Healthy Planet.

For the complete article visit: Creating a World Beyond Growth – Recognizing Rights of Nature can Help us Achieve a Healthy Planet.

Excerpt from Creating a World Beyond Growth:

I just spent the better part of my weekend in a class discussing a global movement springing up around the concept of recognizing rights of nature, something I have been thinking a lot about recently. The class (and the movement) addressed a big concern facing our society — that our way of living is built on a structure of endless economic growth. Yet we live in a world of finite resources and limited space. Why is there this blind faith in growth when we know that it can’t last?

Vilcabamba River taken by Johan Christen Nielsen

The Vilcabamba River in Ecuador. A provincial court in Ecuador recently ruled in favor of nature, saying that the river's flow was being affected by a road expansion project. Photo by Johan Christen Nielsen

Simply put, it is what we are constantly told by our leaders and media. Corporations and economies must grow or they will fail. We must buy more stuff to support business and be happy. Somehow we choose to ignore the reality of non-renewable resources. Our way of living is on a collision course with nature. In our technology-obsessed world, we forget that humans are part of a natural system that provides for our well-being.

Science and technology will indeed play an important part in figuring out a sustainable future. But I think looking at how our relatives lived and interacted with the natural world not that long ago (and many indigenous peoples still do today) is also crucial. Acknowledging that nature has rights puts a priority on ceasing the rampant over-consumption and exploitation of natural resources and species. It is what lies beyond the growth paradigm and what I believe will set us moving in the right direction.

Turkey calling for ecological constitution

As the momentum for Rights on Nature intensifies around the world, Turkey is engaged in a vigorous debate on creating a new, citizen-centered constitution. The debate includes demands for an Ecological Constitution (IEC).

On Sunday 22 May 2011,  Today’s Zaman published Demands for green constitution rise as threats to nature, humans increase by YONCA POYRAZ DOĞAN, İSTANBUL:

“We are just starting a campaign calling for an ecological constitution,” said Turkey’s Green Party spokesperson Ümit Şahin, who is among 40 people including politicians, academics, and lawyers involved in the Initiative for an Ecological Constitution (IEC).

“As Turkey has been talking about making a new constitution, which is supposed to value the individual, then we should be talking about an ecological approach to it,” Şahin said, adding that their role models are Bolivia and Ecuador, which understand the value and rights of Mother Earth. The IEC believes in this approach of the Latin American states, he said, because neither the European states nor the United States have been able to fully address the issue even though there are some examples like France, which has a Green Charter, and some states in the US, which have been adopting ecologically sensitive laws.

Read the complete article Demands for green constitution rise as threats to nature, humans increase


Giving Nature Its Own Rights Might Avert Future Oil Disasters

By Brandon Klein of Wired Science

Striped dolphins in oiled water from Wired Science

Hundreds of lawsuits have flowed from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, filed by citizens, states and the federal government. And someday, perhaps, the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystems will also file suit.

Environmental philosophers and other people say that biological communities — ecosystems, habitats, species and populations — have a right to exist. They’re not just valuable because they’re someone’s property. Environmental lawyers say courts should recognize this right, and could allow people to represent nature as legal guardians or trustees…

“There is room in our legal system to expand the concept of guardianship,” said Patricia Siemen, executive director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence. “The inlets and the marshes, the beaches that are damaged, species of birds that are threatened — each one may have its own guardian, with a right to speak for the interests of that being, and the legal authority to speak for that being.”

For the complete article…