Nature is not merely a ‘resource’ for the economy, nature is the source of life.
“We need to change our attitude towards nature. What we do to nature we do to ourselves,” Satish Kumar, the emeritus editor of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine, will tell an audience at the ChangeNOW event in Paris next month.
Kumar will speak about the urgency of change in the light of announcements from NASA and the Met Office that the past decade was the hottest ever, and that the Australian bush fires are a clear example of the emergency.
“Nature and humans are not separate. Humans are also nature. So what we do to nature we do to ourselves. Nature is not merely a ‘resource’ for the economy, nature is the source of life,” he will say.
Humans need to adopt a lifestyle of “elegant simplicity”, he will say. “There is enough in the world for everyone’s need but not enough for anybody’s greed.”
Businesses also needs to change its purpose to meet so that they meet the needs of communities, not just generate sheer profit.
Governments should also reorientate policy to focus on growth in wellbeing, rather than economic growth. Like in Bhutan, Gross National Happiness (GNH) should be pursued rather than GDP.
ChangeNOW is taking place at the Grand Palais in Paris, from 30 January to 1 February.
The event will feature more than 250 speakers, including Boyan Slat, founder of plastic pollution technology engineers Ocean Cleanup; Geoffroy Germano, managing director of Sustain’Air, which produces low carbon air conditioning systems; and Josephine Goube, founder of Techfugees, which helps refugees through technology.
It celebrates changemakers around the world, in recognition that they are often marginalised, and struggle to find the support they need to really make a difference.
Catherine Early is a freelance environmental journalist and chief reporter for The Ecologist. She can be found tweeting at @Cat_Early76. Satish Kumar is a member of the management team of the Resurgence Trust, which owns and publishes The Ecologist.