Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sustainability and Spirituality

So I attended a talk about sustainability and spirituality earlier today. These are the notes that I were able to jot down during the whole talk:

- the planet is slowly but surely being pushed to its limits; some aspects have even already been exceeded such as biodiversity loss and the nitrogen cycle. (how was this measured? Who or what determines where that limit is? How is that limit determined?)

- Earth Overshoot Day 2014 – marks the day we’ve used up all the natural resources Earth can produce that year, and it was only August.

- Every 40 seconds, a species dies out (according to Bund).

- 29.8 million people are in slavery today (World Slavery Index).

- So many studies have been looking at climate change, yet where are the practical solutions?

- The paradigm of profit-making was never changed in sustainable development discourse. It’s always a discussion of “how do we still make money while impacting the environment less?”

- Encik Anwar Fazal –> awesome dude.

- Our ideology on/of growth is so proliferated, we have lost touch with the notion of limits, or the sense of “enough-ness”.

- Indigenous cultures have an understanding of limits/ They understand how much can be taken from the forests and the rivers, reinforcing a culture of sustainability.


After the talk, I had a discussion with another attendee about how the speaker outlined the relationship between sustainability and spirituality. He didn’t. This is probably due to him trying to sell his book, so if he gave the answers in the talk, people might not have to buy the book anymore to get to that discussion. Thus is the nature of profit-driven ecosystems.

So we went ahead and tried our hand at doing that ourselves. What we came up with was “the only way to lead a meaningful a way of life that is sustainable to the environment was to be able to tap into our spirituality, our sense of interconnectedness with the rest of the world and feel a certain association with the other living things on Earth, both in the now and in the future. When we manoeuvre life in such a fashion, it is hard not to be lead an environmentally sustainable life, for that sense of kinship and bond we have with the things around us do not allow us to treat them badly.”

That was probably what he was getting at. I don’t know.

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