Friday, April 27, 2012

sustainability in the international arena

since our discussion on Friday I have been mulling over the notion that is called Strong Sustainability in NZ and I think I have understood it. It is to do with equitable access to "needed" resources across members of any given society. This morning, Kim Hill interviewed ChandranNair who is the founder of the Global Institute for Tomorrow and proposes that the East will be the place that is able to reshape the rules of global capitalism. He sees the West as too well entrenched in the liberal rational decision making narrative to consider it. I wonder? He maintains that all people need somewhere safe to live, access to clean food and water, healthcare and education. Probably no arguments from anyione there, but how do you provide that when everyone in the population wants to drive a car everyday? or have the two or more bathrooms? In addition,if you look at how this practice has been maintained, it is one of privilege and in many cases has been supported by exploitation of other populations. When we sit ourselves in positions of relative privilege, what are we prepared to accept as strict limits imposed by others on our aquisition of material goods?Having had copmparative choice, it is difficult to reduce that,as in the process you reduce also someone's sense of freedom and power. Still more thinking to do I believe.


Helen said...

Hi Willie,
thanks I will seek out ChandranNair. Perhaps the East will be more amenable to controls on their level of consumption, As for the West, you don't have to look very far now to see how people's choices are being limited forceably - The "austerity measures" the Greek, Spanish and British Governments are implementing are in response to the economic crisis the whole world is experiencing. The economic crisis is directly linked to the developing environmental crisis (choose between, climate change, sea level rise, famine, water crisis, floods, droughts, PEAK OIL, FRACKING, etc etc). The point is the privilaged position of being "able to choose" is rapidly drawing to a close for the West. The USA has a multitude of problems looming - the most immediate being their trillions of dollars of debt, closely followed by their dependency on oil. You should read this guy's blog to get some insight into a country that is further down the track than we are
New Zealand could still at least try to insulate itself from the disasters unfolding elsewhere if we start to transition from the 'Global' financial sytem, to something more local. Keeping ownership of our productive farms and State Owned Enterprises would be a start.
Do we have to wait until we are in crisis ourselves before we do something or will we see it coming soon enough to prepare - the transition town movement needs to go global!

willie campbell said...

I'll find that blog Helen. thanks