And the leaves that are green turn to brown.
Simon and Garfunkel
Leaves That Are Green
The podcast is actually up now. In keeping with the theme of one part of the podcast here is the third installment of my ongoing series about an ecology of peace. In case you missed them check out Part I and Part II.
Since we control our relationship with the Earth, we must apply some ethic to our decisions. Some would argue that there is no reason to suddenly develop a moral component to our actions when there as not been one before. I counter that of course we have been applying some ethical standard to our actions, though it may have been intrinsic. Whether we express our beliefs or not they influence our behaviour. No one can act free of their internal compass, regardless of its content. Now what are our options? Well we can certainly be the aggressor, and actively destroy those aspects of nature that displease us. It is an ancient way of acting, that I believe is related to our need to protect ourselves from the fury of nature. At the other extreme, we could abandon our world building efforts and disassociate from all the changes we have made. There are not many who advocate a complete return to the earth way of living but some are out there. I prefer a more moderate approach rooted in the ethic of love for the planet and humanity. For many years people have promoted the notion of loving the Earth and protecting it for future generations. It is an attitude that requires a long-term commitment to what I will call just actions, though there will be objectors to that term.
Just actions lie at the heart of an ecology of peace. They do not require that we abandon our way of life in favour of hunting and gathering. Instead they place a responsibility on all people to examine their behaviour both before and after to identify their intentions, their actions, and the consequences of their activity. In some ways I am borrowing ideas from liberation theology because an ecology of peace is primarily about active thinking rather than passive reflection. It is necessary to reflect on what you do in an open and honest way. For example, when a business decides to build a new factory, even in countries with strict pollution controls, they must evaluate a large number of variables to make their decisions. Staffing, construction, accessibility, and a host of other considerations must be included in the final analysis. At some level I am sure environmental impact is mentioned. But an ecology of peace would insist that the environmental concern be near the forefront of any discussion, and that maintaining the loving relationship with the earth is a priority.
Tags: Ecology of Peace