Pacific Ecologist 23 Spring 2015
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religious & psychological inspiration
- The unity of life: Greening Christianity
A new spirituality is needed to galvanise our responses to the global ecological crisis. Theologian Sir Lloyd Geering links the rise of monotheism and Christian fundamentalism to the separation of humanity from the natural world, and our increasing destruction of Nature. The unfolding story of the universe returns us to the first Christians’ beliefs and our proper place on Earth as one of many connected species, dependent on each other and the health of our planetary home. Ten resolutions could aid our efforts to bring the changes needed to save life on earth.
- Ending conditioning: The vital psychological revolution
Despite centuries of knowledge and much technological prowess, humanity is surrounded by problems, divisions, conflict and misery. Jiddu Krishnamurti and physicist, David Bohm discuss what prevents us from solving our problems and breaking the pattern. Solutions, they conclude, can be found only in people clearly seeing the dangers of their psychological conditioning with its divisive body of knowledge: family, status, nationality, beliefs, habits, work, etc The article is abridged from Chapter 13 of the book, The Ending of Time.*
Strategies for sustainable societies
- Rising global value of ecosystem services dwarfs GDP
Nature’s ecosystem services dwarf GDP by a factor of almost 3, according to a recent study. Furthermore, annual losses of these services from 1997 to 2011 are estimated conservatively to be $20.2 trillion. GDP, which excludes Nature in its accounting, threatens global security with collapsing ecosystems, reports Kay Weir. It urgently needs to be replaced by measures that include natural capital, such as the Genuine Progress Indicator. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals provide an opportunity for us all to help bring this essential change.
- Amazing mangroves
Between the land and sea, mangrove ecosystems are nature’s resilient, living buffer zone, protecting the coast and land in a dynamic, richly productive environment. Mino Cleverley explores their vital importance, threats to their existence and why they must be protected.
- Measuring genuine progress in New Zealand
A recent study lays the foundations for a Genuine Progress Indicator to measure the inclusive well-being of New Zealanders. Unlike the widely used, but narrowly focussed Gross Domestic Product, the GPI accounts for social and environmental health as well as economic gains. The GPI is an essential guide to meet the challenges to our survival in the 21st century, reports Kay Weir.
- Can renewable energy meet all our energy needs?
Ted Trainer investigates recent renewable energy studies and identifies serious problems in assuming renewables can provide 100% of global energy demands. While we could live well on renewables, he warns they can’t provide the huge amount required by energy-intensive consumer societies.
- Grass, soil, hope: A Journey through Carbon Country by Courtney White
- The anthropocene & the environmental crisis: Rethinking modernity in a new epoch Edited by Clive Hamilton, François Gemenne & Christophe Bonneuil
- Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US drive for hegemony risks World War III by Edited by Stephen Lendman
- The Permaculture city: Regenerative design for urban, suburban, and town resilience by Toby Hemenway
- Brain wars: The scientific battle over the existence of the mind & the proof that will change the way we live our lives by Mario Beauregard
- Laudato Si’ (Praise be to you): Care of our Common Home by Pope Francis
- The biggest wake up call in history by Richard A Slaughter
- Creating a sustainable & desirable future: Insights from 45 Global thought leaders by Robert Costanza & Ida Kubiszewski
- Nature’s Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age by Mary Christina Wood
- Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
- Raising sails for the shipping revolution
Sea transport is a critical life-line for Pacific island countries but it relies on costly, high-polluting fossil-fuel imports. Pete Nuttall & Alison Newell, wonder why low-carbon transition programmes for Pacific Island countries do not support available, cost-effective, renewable energy sea transport technologies that would relieve the burden of increasingly expensive fossil-fuel imports and old sub-standard ships, while reinvigorating the region’s transport and industry. Meanwhile the New Zealand government’s “Tokelau Shipping Solution,” commits Tokelau to a fossil-fuel-dependent, increasingly expensive future for at least the next 25 years.