Month: May 2009

Thoughts from the heartlands (on wealth)

A young Weyeba boy on the island of Sumba in Indonesia watches the loggers cutting down the giant trees near his village and asks his web of tree lifegrandfather: why are they destroying what is valuable?

“Because to them, the trees are worth more dead than alive. You may ask: how can this be? The answer is that they do not understand the true meaning of wealth.

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News from the frontier (3)

Indigenous peoples: when will we learn from them?Business as usual must end, because business as usual is killing us,” the indigenous peoples of the world have stated, in a powerful and eloquent summing up of the five-day Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change, held in Anchorage, Alaska at the end of April.

Climate change brings into sharp relief the confrontation between industrial civilisation and indigenous peoples. Caused by the actions of the rich, polluting nations its effects are felt most keenly by those who live closest to nature and whose livelihoods most directly depend on their immediate environment. (Just 500 miles from the summit, in the village of Newtok, intensifying river flow and melting permafrost have forced 320 residents to relocate to higher ground; meanwhile stories like “Water people of the Amazon face extinction” are increasingly and depressingly familiar.) (more…)

Telling it like it is: news from the dead centre (3)

What's your price?The IPCE (Institute of Public Confusion Enhancement) is delighted to see its policies and recommendations feeding into the activities of research and funding agencies in the UK.

Now that growing numbers of people appear to be spotting that a finite planet cannot support ever-growing consumer demands, Government needs mechanisms to show that it is addressing this inconvenience while at the same time not challenging any of the growth assumptions crucial to the ongoing support of its financiers. (more…)

Catching up, switching on

Leaf behind barsEvo Morales has been at it again, saying bold and beautiful things that other world leaders will likely dismiss as radical or simply ignore, instead of recognising his brave attempts to get us to value Earth’s life support systems before it’s too late. On Earth Day, April 22nd, Morales addressed the United Nations calling for the countries of the world to accept a set of principles that would protect the planet’s resources and ‘right to life’. (more…)