Environmental Ethics – Part 1
Connecting our Consciousness to Mother Nature
By Zain Raza
The 20th Century provided humanity with numerous opportunities to reform it’s collective systems in order for them to work mutually, sustainably and reciprocally with our environment. Unfortunately the lack of collective effort on every macro stage ( Economic , Political, Scientific) has resulted in a complete failure to surface and implement policies that would bring about true reform. With a decade gone by following the eclipse of the 21st century, it appears that we are at a complete standstill. Humanity’s window of opportunity is closing , and now, it not only demands immediate and swift action but it also demands a complete overhaul to our collective way of life.
In my opinion our respective systems, regardless of their substance or the realms that they operate in (political, scientific, economic or technological) are functioning unsustainability with respect to our environment and are nearing their saturation levels, or to be precise, their tipping points. Reasons are plentiful, but the sole driver is the environment or Mother Nature, which is a nest to these respective systems. Mother Nature is crumbling and disintegrating from underneath and social systems that depend on it – economic (financial), technological and political – are pushing this process of decay into high gear instead functioning with it symbiotically.
The global political culture for example is keeping the environment in the backdrop, and instead concentrating primarily on allocating human & material resources towards waging wars on foreign soil or bailing out indebted financial institutions. The only attempt by policymakers to come up with a solution at this stage to rescue our environment is the introduction of a free market system. A cap and trade system in which business/factories can only emit carbon at a certain limit and trade that certain limit (cap) with other companies. This trading scheme is similar to the financial instruments called derivatives that were considered as one of the main factors to causing the financial crises of 2008. Applying free market principles towards saving the environment in my opinion, will only result in catastrophe.
Equally, the economic & financial system employed today are parasitic towards the environment. Trillions in the form of bailouts have been transferred from taxpayers towards rescuing insolvent banking institutions – an estimated $ 20 trillion have been spend on bailout packages since the 2008 economic crises began. This has led to an exponential growth in global public debt (all world governments combined ) and it now stands at $ 40 trillion and growing. Yet economic growth today worldwide is at a near standstill – and I’m skeptical if that was held true had all that money been diverted towards our environment, technology and scientific institutions. As the environment disintegrates, in the form peak oil, peak water or the extinction of species vital to preservation of the ecosystem, all social systems that depend on it will fall like begin falling like dominoes, one by one. Thereafter the term“ too big to fail” that was initially coined for Corporate Banks that were rescued by the taxpayer, will look in comparison to an environmental collapse, minute and insignificant. Instead of allocating mental and material resources to save the nest that hosts all other systems, policymakers are exhausting limited resources towards saving one of its twigs.
The choices are as follows:
– Reform our currently employed system and adopt an Ethical (Conscious) approach that lays heavy focus on Sustainability & Responsibility
– Continue to steam roll on the same platform and brace for an all out environmental collapse which will spill over to our economic system.
The option availed at this stage will ultimately determine the future and the way of life for many generations to come, not only in respect to humans, but also for every living specie under the biosphere. Mother Nature is the underlying structure on which all global macro social systems rest on and derive their values from.
Changing the landscape – Solutions & Suggestions (more to come)
-> Economic Systems employed worldwide today function on the basis of unlimited growth fueled by unlimited credit. Governments worldwide pay close attention to the Gross Domestic Product and and the Stock Market and take whatever means possible to prevent their respective declines. A fundamental change is needed in government policy that focuses on preserving and growing our environment sustainably – the true source of humanity’ economic growth. An economic indicator that measures the growth & sustainability of our environment is needed.
-> From OilPrice.com: “It seems to me that the real issue is that we live in a finite world. The idea that debt can continue to expand is simply false. The world economy will hit limits of many kinds–for example, the amount of low-cost oil that can be extracted; the amount of fresh water than can be obtained, without resorting to high-priced desalination; the amount of pollution that we can deal with, without huge health problems; the amount of CO2 that the atmosphere can absorb, without huge climate and ocean difficulties.t is based on a temporary phenomenon. Debt can only expand for a while, in a finite world. Once we start hitting limits, debt expansion at first does less and less, and ultimately falls apart under its own weight.”
-> The “Too Big to Fail” should only be applied towards our environment instead of banking institutions.
-> Philosophical institutions need to be revived that investigate our macro social systems and aim to refine them in conjunction to our environment .
->Business & Industry should set environmental sustainability & responsibility as their forefront targets – thereafter profitability.