Regeneration The Art of Sustainable Living

Meetings with fascinating ecological Regenerators. Grounded sustainable thinking and commentary from a Permaculture perspective.

Friday, November 24, 2006

No Economy without Environment

I had the privilege of sitting beside Elizabeth today as she announced her proposals for the economic development of London North.

I am struck by the extent to which something that is so intuitively obvious to us Greens is still so mysterious to the mainstream. I am referring to the link between the economy and the environment.

Like Love & Marriage you can't have one without the other -

No self-respecting M.B.A. would ever consider the liquidation of capital to augment current income a viable practice - and yet that is exactly how we are managing our economy.

What will it take to convey the basic precepts of Natural Capitalism ? That the forests, soil and water are our capital while the lumber, fish and food they provide are the income ?

And what of the (currently externalized) ecosystem services ? What of the economic value of carbon sequestration provided by healthy soils and healthy forests for example ?

There is a pervasive myth that must be smashed: That continuing to subsidize fossil fueled indistries is "keeping Canada competitive". In fact just the OPPOSITE is true - by not investing in the creation of a green economy, we are missing the competitive boat. As Elizabeth pointed out today, when Canada installs new wind turbines, the inevitably come from OUTSIDE Canada ! By NOT dealing with Climate Chaos decisively, immediately and with massive inputs, we are not only going to pay for our cowardice, but are going to miss out on what many consider the greatest economic boom of the century - namely the innovation and jobs that would come from investing in Canada's Green economic future.

Similarly, mainstream politics sees health care as a SEPARATE issue from the economy - Or, more cynically, they see it as a means to bolster the economy.

How can we convey the simple reality that investing in healthy ecosystems and food production results in the PREVENTION of the diseases that are quite literally bankrupting our economy ?

How ? By getting Elizabeth May into Parliament where her passionate ability to answer these questions would be communicated to the very politicians and mainstream media that so desperately need to hear them, for the good of all Canadians.

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