Will sprituality save the ecosphere?

Rupert Read certainly thinks so. Long term. I agree. Something close to World Buddhism will be essential. But here and now the ecosphere is burning, drowning, acidifying, or being deforested ….. by nations and transnationals who are still making profits. They are unlikely to take any more notice of spiritual approaches than they are listening to Greta Thunberg.

The hole in the ozone layer was closed by international agreement, and some claim that the same the ecosphere might similarly be saved. It could have, but it wasn’t. IPCC reports and increasing extreme weather events, wildfires in Australia being among the foremost, have established that even if the processes destroying the ecosphere were to stop immediately, it (we) would still be in serious trouble.

But still only minscule reduction in the dynamics driving ecosphere damage has occurred, because profits are still being made, or (fracking, for example) still anticipated. Rainforest destruction in Brazil and Indonesia will continue as long as expectation of profit remains.

But the Tragedy of the Commons also means that no individual firm or nation can allow itself to be at a competitive disadvantage. This explains why China, vying with the USA to be the biggest world economy, has become lukewarm on ecological effort’ss.

Spirituality may come up with something, but to date nothing has, almost 50 years after the Limits problem was identified. But spirituality is not the only game in town. Many towns and cities, Leeds for example. are making determined and realistic efforts to become carbon neutral. Fine, as examples of what is possible though I am not sure that they all factor in the effect of reductions in economic activity outside their own area.

A religious based group is exploring common ecological  ground among Christians and Moslems, but even cumulatively, these initiatives remain puny s compared with the inertia of unsustainable industrial processes. Why am I still apparently alone in seeing that all these excellent ideas are futile without global first aid?

In 1973 I suggested that a universal basic income, if linked to taxes based on ecological footprint, and associated with a culture which recognized ecological realities, would enable the Earth’ economy to cool gradually. instead of a massive accident. As of now ‘gradually’ may not be enough, but as I keep trying to say, it is the mind set change this makes possible which is our only hope.

 

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