The pioneering American economist who helped found the discipline of Ecological Economics, and presently a leading theorist of ‘steady-state economics’, muses on Pope Francis’ ground-breaking encyclical on environment and justice. “At a minimum, he’s given us a more truthful, informed, and courageous analysis of the environmental and moral crisis than have our secular political leaders.”
Manifestos & charters
Enlightenment thinking is coming to an end… But our civilization still operates as if reality is about organising inert, dead matter in efficient ways. It is impossible to achieve sustainability with our prevailing ‘operating system’ for economics, politics, and culture if the underlying ‘bios’—our unconscious assumption about reality—remains tied to an ideology of dead matter.
Giorgos Kallis writes: Degrowth is a frontal attack on the ideology of economic growth. No Left party might dare to openly question growth, but I find it hard to see how in the long-term they can avoid it. Growth is not only ecologically unsustainable but, as economists like Piketty admit, increasingly unlikely, especially for advanced economies.
Didier Prost writes: Development impacts on the climate, the way fertile land is used and on ecosystems are catastrophic for the environment. A “return to (the notion of) land as a common good” requires us to raise “awareness or consciousness of place” in order to rebuild relationships of co-evolution between human settlements and the environment.
Samuel Alexander writes: ‘Wild democracy’ is a new political orientation, sensibility, and practice. A localised politics with a global perspective, positioning itself ‘in the wild’ beyond the state and yet, at times, pragmatically engaged with it. In short, wild democracy is a revolutionary politics without a Revolution, as such–a paradox I will unpack and defend.
David Bollier writes: The brute facts of climate change are calling into question models of economic development, transforming the terms of debate, compelling us to mythologies of development and growth, and quickly imagine credible alternative paths. Suddenly, the social economies of indigenous peoples, traditional communities and localized systems seem highly relevant to the challenges ahead.
The Indigenous Terra Madre festival 2015 at Shillong brought together indigenous peoples from around the world to share knowledge about food, nutrition and biocultural diversity. The Shillong Declaration, asserts that everyone has a right to good, clean and fair food and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage, tradition and culture that make this possible.
“Some Possible Ideas For Going Forward” is a manifesto for global change, signed by leading activists, academics and intellectuals, including Noam Chomsky, to “help inspire more conversations within groups and movements that, over time, come to a synthesis… We believe only program that is fully understood and owned by grassroots participants can win lasting change.”
This first of its kind Green Development Agenda for Kerala was collectively drafted by green collective Paristhithi Aikya Vedhi, and has been submitted to the leaders of the main political parties in the fray for the upcoming Assembly Elections in May. It was released on 30th March by Dr.V.S.Vijayan, Member, Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel.
Unlimited growth and consumerist culture is incompatible with a finite world. We call for an urgent paradigm shift, from the currently dominant model of consumption-led development, to creating frameworks of human and ecological well being. This transition should be defined by the principles of sustainability, equity, and justice. (Adopted at the Bijli Vikalp Sangam, Bodh Gaya)
Excerpted from the Thrissur Declaration, of 16 October 2014: We are in an era of systemic crisis – of economy, food, energy, climate and livelihoods. In India this is characterised by a deep agrarian crisis, declining social indicators, unemployment and underemployment, environmental degradation, lack of access to basic services and distress migration especially in rural