From YES! MAGAZINE
How did we end up with Wall Street when models for a healthy economy are all around us?
With proper care and respect, Earth can provide a high quality of life for all people in perpetuity. Yet we devastate productive lands and waters for a quick profit, a few temporary jobs, or a one-time resource fix.
Our current expansion of tar sands oil extraction, deep-sea oil drilling, hydraulic fracturing natural gas extraction, and mountaintop-removal coal mining are but examples of this insanity. These highly profitable choices deepen our economic dependence on rapidly diminishing, nonrenewable fossil-energy reserves, disrupt the generative capacity of Earth’s living systems, and accelerate climate disruption.
A global economy dependent on this nonsense is already failing and its ultimate collapse is only a matter of time. For a surprisingly long time, we humans have successfully maintained the illusion that we are outside of, superior to, and not subject to the rules of nature. We do so, however, at a huge cost, and payment is coming due.
To secure the health and happiness of future generations, we must embrace life as our defining value, recognize that competition is but a subtext of life’s deeper narrative of cooperation, and restructure our institutions to conform to life’s favored organizing principle of radically decentralized, localized decision making and self-organization. This work begins with recognizing what nature has learned about the organization of complex living systems over billions of years.
Our Original Instructions
Some indigenous people speak of the “original instructions.” Chief Oren Lyons, of the Onondaga Nation, summarizes the rules in “Listening to Natural Law” in the anthology Original Instructions: