10 October 2009

Mythical Foundations of Human Culture

William Rees of the University of British Colombia coined the 'Ecological Footprint' concept with his then PhD student, Mathis Wackernagel [who founded the Global Footprint Network] - bold is my emphasis:

Excerpt from Kingdom Matters, 19 January 2009

'Rees went next to the “mythic foundations of human culture,” which directed our attention at the way we use myth, philosophy, economic theory, and other religious tools to justify our cultural structures. The whipping boys here are pretty obvious: globalization and trade, primarily, which “perpetuate the illusions that eliminate negative feedback that would jar us into different aggregate choices” as a human society...

To Rees, the so-called “rising tide that lifts all ships,” or globalized trade, is one of those myths that we use to justify the West’s hyper-consumption of the globe’s finite stocks of natural capital – clean water, productive fisheries, the rainforests’ species diversity (which is a sine qua non for natural selection), and fossil fuel reserves. Rees quoted the young, contemporary philosopher Derrick Jensen: ”we must tell lies to one another” to keep making the self-destructive decisions we’re making as societies and cultures.'

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