Green Economy versus Solidarian Economy

The UN’s main document for Rio +20 is still held hostage to the old paradigm of dominating nature in order to extract from her the greatest possible benefits for business and the markets. By and through it, the human being seeks the means of life and subsistence. The green economy radicalizes this tendency, because, as Bolivian diplomat and ecologist Pablo Solon wrote, «the green economy seeks to market not only the timber of the jungle, but also its capacity for absorbing carbon dioxide». All this can be transformed into negotiable bonds by the markets and banks. In this way the document definitively reveals itself as anthropocentric, as if everything were destined to the exclusive use of humans, and the Earth had created them exclusively for human use, and not for other living beings that also demand ecological sustainability in order to survive on this planet.

Summarizing: \”the future we want\”, the central motto of the UN document, is nothing more than the continuation of the present. It seems threatening, and negates a hopeful future. In such a context, not moving forward is to go backwards, and to close the door to the new.

Worse yet: the entire text revolves around the economy. Whether we paint it green or brown, it maintains its internal logic, expressed by the question: how much can I make in the shortest time, with the least possible investment, and maintaining strong competitiveness? Let’s not be ingenuous: the business of today’s economy is business. It does not offer a new relationship with nature, or a sense of being part of nature and responsible for her vitality and integrity. To the contrary, it makes open war on nature, as explained by the philosopher of ecology Michel Serres. In this war there is no possibility of success. It ignores our efforts, and continues its course even without our presence. The task of the intelligentsia is to decipher what nature is trying to tell us (through extreme events, the tsunamis, etc.), to defend ourselves against their damaging effects and to put their energies to work for us. Nature offers us information but does not tell us how to behave. We ourselves must determine that. Our behavior will be good and sound only if it conforms to nature’s rhythms and cycles.

As an alternative to this economy of devastation, if we want to have a future, we need to oppose this with a different paradigm: one of economy of preservation, conservation and sustainability for all life. We need to produce, yes, but starting from the goods and services that nature offers us for free, respecting the reach and limits of each bio-region, distributing equitably the fruits obtained, considering the rights of future generations and of the other beings within the community of life. Nature now takes form through a bio-centered economy, solidarian, agro-ecologic, familiar and organic. Each community seeks to guarantee food sovereignty: produce what is consumed, relating producers and consumers in a true food democracy.

Rio 92 consecrated the anthropocentric and reductionist concept of sustainable development, elaborated by the 1987 Brundland UN report. It was transformed into a dogma professed by official documents, by states and enterprises, without ever being subjected to serious criticism. It coopted sustainability for its field only, thus distorting the relationships with nature. The disasters that were caused were seen as externalities, not worthy of note. But it so happens that these turned dark, capable of destroying the physical-chemical basis that sustains human life and a great part of the bio-sphere. They have not been overcome by the green economy. It has become a trap by the rich countries, especially of the Organization for Econmic Cooperation and development, (OCDE, from the Spanish, Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo Económico), that produced the theoretical text of PNUMA, Initiative of the Green Economy. Through this they cleverly avoided a discussion of sustainability, social and psychological justice, global warming, the failed economic model and the changed point of view, a different view of the planet that may project a real future for humanity and for the Earth.

Along with Rio +20, it would be very useful to rescue Stockholm +40. In that first UN world conference on the Human Environment, from July 5 to 15, 1972, in Stockholm, Sweden, the focus was not development, but caring and collective responsibility for all that surrounds us and that is in an accelerated process of degradation, affecting all, especially the poor countries. It was a humanistic and generous perspective that got lost in the closed briefcase of sustainable development, and, now, of the green economy.

2 comentários sobre “Green Economy versus Solidarian Economy

  1. Reblogged this on cesarsalad and commented:
    another eye opening article on the current stae of our nature and the seemingly inept response from our leaders…click the link to read the entire article..


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