In the foreword of her new book The Living Earth Dr. Vandana Shiva warns that now, when humanity have come to terms with the huge powers we have accrued to manipulate nature, we face a choice of enormous importance. We must choose, claims Shiva, between a destructive anthropocene, where our polluting and destroying ways are continued, or a creative anthropocene, where responsibility and humility towards nature is key. Tvergastein Journal is proud to present an excerpt.
Illustration: Heida Mobeck.
From a Destructive Anthropocene, to a Creative Anthropocene Guided by the Living Earth
The Economist special Issue on the “The World in 2012” ends with an obituary for The Earth. The earth is not about to die. What is dying is an outmoded paradigm and world view that has created multiple crises, beginning with the ecological crisis. The Mayan Prophecy, to which it refers, is not about the end of the Earth, but our age of ecological destruction.
By working on models of human progress based on the false assumption that we are separate from the earth and the earth is dead inert matter, humanity has pushed species to extinction, destabilized the climate, destroyed water, and polluted the rivers and oceans. The illusion that we are separate from the Earth is eco-apartheid. Beginning with separation from the Earth, we create separation within the human community. Finally, we separate ourselves from our own humanity, our being, our purpose on Earth. We start believing the Earth is to be owned and conquered. We accept the brutalisation of our brothers and sisters. And we shrink ourselves into appropriateness or consumers.
Climate change denialism is an ever-present feature of the current environmental discourse. In this text Angi Buettner argues that the very logic of the media produces a rethoric-driven public debate about climate change that leads both to misrepresentations of facts as well as an undercommunication of politically and scientifically vital information.
Illustration: Eirik Severeide.
The more the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change consolidates (indicating that urgent and drastic action is needed), the louder climate change denial becomes, and a growing number of politicians support environmental policies that do not address climate change; there are complex political, financial, and psychological explanations for this (see for example Dickinson ; Hamilton ; Marshall ). In this context, it is useful to consider how these developments are reflected in the media coverage of climate change.
With the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development a week away Robyn Eckersley claims that we need much more than another shopping list of goals. According to her we need an outcome that is visionary, tangible and transformatory.
Photo: Misha Jemsek.
In June 2012 governments, stakeholders and global civil society will gather together at the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil to renew and enhance the international community’s commitment to sustainable development. The agenda is both exciting and ambitious. The so-called ‘zero draft’ outcome document remains a work in progress, bulging with competing ideas, both big and small.