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Living Wealth: Better Than Money

David Korten, Yes! Magazine
If there is to be a human future, we must bring ourselves into balanced relationship with one another and the Earth. This requires building economies with heart.

If we are to slow and ultimately reverse the social and environmental disintegration we see around us, we must change the rules to curb the pervasive abuse of corporate power that contributes so much to those harms.

Taming corporate power will slow the damage. It will not be sufficient, however, to heal our relationships with one another and the Earth and bring our troubled world into social and environmental balance. Corporations are but instruments of a deeper social pathology revealed in a familiar story our society tells about the nature of prosperity.

Empire Prosperity Story
The prevailing prosperity narrative has many variations, but these are among its essential elements:

* Economic growth fills our lives with material abundance, lifts the poor from their misery, and creates the wealth needed to protect the environment.

* Money is the measure of wealth and the proper arbiter of every choice and relationship.

…Consider these elements of a contrasting life-serving prosperity story that looks to life, rather than money, as the true measure of wealth.

* Healthy children, families, communities, and ecological systems are the true measure of real wealth.

* Mutual caring and support are the primary currency of healthy families and communities, and community is the key to economic security.

* Real wealth is created by investing in the human capital of productive people, the social capital of caring relationships, and the natural capital of healthy ecosystems.

* The end of poverty and the healing of the environment will come from reallocating material resources from rich to poor and from life-destructive to life-nurturing uses. …

(28 August 2007)
Also at Common Dreams.

The Rise and Fall of Sea Levels and Civilisations

Rob Hopkins, Transition Culture
sc1 Just back from a few glorious days on the Scilly Isles, somewhere I have never been before, but will certainly go back to. What a beautiful place. For those who don’t know, they are a small collection of islands off the south west coast of Cornwall, about 45km west of Land’s End. They were formed as part of a collision between continental plates 200 to 300 million years ago, which forced up granite intrusions, which over time have eroded, leaving the landscapes which run from Dartmoor, down through Cornwall and then out under the sea, rising to put in a last appearance at the Scillies. As well as being a stunningly clean and beautiful place, being there also focused my mind on sea level rise, as the rising and falling of the sea has been central to the evolution of culture and ecology there over time.

scDuring the most recent Ice Age, (about 18,000 years ago) the sea level around the Scillies was as much as 75 metres lower than it is now. What we see now as individual islands were, as recently as 3,000 years ago, one single island.

…If we fail to prevent runaway climate change, what tales will be told of our civilizations the lie beneath the waves? Will we be talked about by future inhabitants of this earth as having been strong and beautiful with rich pastures and abundant orchards, or as a society whose greed and inactivity brought about its own demise?
(29 August 2007)
Being aware of energy and climate change will do this to you. Other people see a picturesque landscape; Rob Hopkins imagines what our descendants will think about us. -BA

Albert Bartlett on population, energy and the exponential function
KMO, C-Realm Podcast
In this installment of the C-Realm Podcast, KMO welcomes Professor Albert Bartlett back to the program to do an advanced seminar on his basic lecture on population, energy and the exponential function. After that we hear from Mike Hagan, host of RadiOrbit.
(29 August 2007)