Dear MP Network,
Below is a short (611 words) op ed on getting to an ‘ecocide-free economy’ that I hope you will circulate, post, or publish widely. Please let me know if you or others you know post or publish it, so I can have a record of it.
And pass that ‘ecocide-free economy’ sound bite on!
The Goal: An Ecocide-free Economy
By Susan C. Strong, Ph.D.
Right now there’s a lot of serious talk about being carbon-free (see www.AlGore.com). The idea of shrinking our ecological footprint down to something our planet can handle is also gaining ground in government and business circles worldwide (see www.globalfootprintnetwork.org). ‘Greening the economy’ and ‘green tech’ are being boosted too these days. But there’s a make or break big goal that includes and goes beyond all these vital efforts — getting to an ecocide-free global economy. That would be an entire economy operating in harmony with natural processes, providing only new kinds of goods and services that are created, used, and recycled in ways that stay in step with what our ecosystems and bodies (our personal ecosystems) can process in a normal way. To get there, we need to name and embrace this big, all-inclusive goal now.
I know–getting our carbon emissions down to something that can hold the line on the climate crisis, plus greatly reducing the quantities of Earth resources we use and waste may already seem like huge, nearly impossible goals for our scrappy species. So why do we have to take on something that seems vastly more complicated and really, really out of reach?
Just what is ecocide? It’s the destruction of an ecosystem (or the biosphere) as the result of human activities. That includes pollution of all kinds (or too much carbon or nitrogen), using up other natural resources, wasting and dumping more than the biosphere can recycle, much conventional industrial processing, plus preparing for and making war, among a host of other sources.
Today, ecocide is unfolding all around us and inside us too. Human ‘body burden’ testing (via biomonitoring) shows we are increasingly carrying around a stew of unnatural substances in our own bodies from pollution of our water, air, soil, food, clothing, utensils, and even soap. See the following for more information:
The tragedy is that none of this ecocidal activity is really necessary. We already know how to create an ecologically sound economy based on products and processes in harmony with natural law — the work of Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry, shows the way, along with the myriad other pioneering experts whose work can be tapped via the Bioneers website. There’s honest money to be made and new kinds of jobs to be created too, and not a moment to lose. Although economic change this big gets resisted hard by all those benefiting from business as usual, we won’t get where we need to go without setting ourselves the biggest goal-an ecocide-free global economy made up of many local, regional, and national ecocide-free economies, all applying a ‘precautionary principle’ to everything they do.
Of course, to get this ‘ecocide-free economy campaign’ rolling it would really be great to have an ‘Al Gore’ type leader-a political/media star. But a good resource to start people talking about the whole ecocide issue is a recent documentary called The Beloved Community about the impact of the petroleum industry on citizen health in a town called Sarnia on the U.S. – Canadian border.
Step 2 is starting a big push for more human biomonitoring and body burden testing everywhere. In the meantime, we can keep on voting with our dollars and notifying firms that we are doing it because we want that ecocide-free economy!