thought not static

where one think leads to another

Archive for the ‘systems’ Category

critical competencies: (green) economics

Posted by thoughtnotstatic on 25 February 2008

Tom Prugh of the Worldwatch Institute has contributed a gem of a blog over at WorldChanging, touching on 7 “reforms that would make economics truer, greener, and more sustainable.” These are a part of the first chapter of the Worldwatch Institute’s “State of the World 2008: Innovations for a Sustainable Economy”.

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time for a nature’s rights movement

Posted by thoughtnotstatic on 19 February 2008

the lorax Mister! he said with a sawdusty sneeze,
I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.
I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.
And I’m asking you, sir, at the top of my lungs–
he was very upset as he shouted and puffed–
What’s that THING you’ve made out of my Truffula tuft?
– from The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, 1971

Isn’t it time – no, isn’t it way past the time – to grant the trees (and rivers, streams, oceans and prairies) a legal voice of at least the strength we grant our unnatural inventions such as corporations?

Such is the position taken by Cormac Cullinan in his essay, “If Nature Had Rights“, published in the January | February Orion Magazine.

Instead of the legal system such as we have today, where ecological decisions are made and challenged primarily in consideration of whether correct procedures have been followed, “consider how much greater the prospects of survival would be for most life on Earth if mechanisms existed for imposing collective responsibility and liability on human communities and for restoring damaged relations with the larger natural community.”

Cullinan recalls the ideas of then USC law professor Christopher Stone who, over three decades ago played ‘spoze in his classroom: “What would a radically different law-driven consciousness look like? … One in which nature had rights … rivers, lakes, trees … How could such a posture in law affect a community’s view of itself?” Judging from the reaction he got from his class, it seems professor Stone might as well of been Dr. Seuss, writing of some sort of childish make-believe world, disconnected from the real world in which trees, rivers and such “are objects, not subjects, in the eyes of the law are are by definition incapable of holding rights.”

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