• RESTORE OUR ECOLOGICAL BIODIVERSITY
• REVERSE CLIMATE CHANGE
• REDISTRIBUTE GLOBAL WEALTH
Maxim: Economies measure our interactions with people and the environment.
Arrow: Aim for trans-local and inter-global reciprocity for a restoration economy.
As people of the ocean, forests, mountains and plains, people in cities, farms and rural spaces, we have long engaged in trade and supply chains. That is a reciprocity that we must restore because it belongs to us, not investment cabals. Militarized economies that count bombs before trees, and values the shroud of industry before fresh air and clean water have done their damage relegating some families to pick through the waste of our consumption while others flounder in luxury, unwilling to hear the wails of extinction, the loss of habitat and the asphyxiation of those struggling for breath. The shifts of nature have turned violent, yet economies continue to privilege the actions of those muted in gated communities rather than warriors defending regions from plunder and the millions of hands repairing the open wounds of environmental degradation and resource depletion.
To some degree, the evolution of our species has been bound and stacked atop totemic signifiers that have derived a historicism of “us” and “them” and “we” and “none.” As a specie, we dotted the planet in social constructs across all environments as if testing the limits of who we are and how we self-identify. We are a mountain people, an ocean people, an island people, a desert people, a warrior people, a hungry or thirsty people, we are a people that are chased away, we are a people that build walls, and we are a people that engage in mutual aid. It would not be wrong to say that most of our existence on this planet has been as nomadic peoples and that our commitment to spaces and locales is based upon a historicism that evolved as geographical bubbles.
Maxim: Survival of the fittest is a lie.
Arrow: Our planet thrives with mutual aid, and as we observe, again and again, being the strongest never guarantees our survival; rather, the inverse is true, as power and greed have hastened collapse and extinction.
Civilization as we have come to understand it was built the moment we began to understand the benefits of our division of labor and our understanding of exchange, markets, and supply chains. We gave it those us-and-them names, and also numbers that signified “many” and “none.” Now those numbers, define the Anthropocene, numbers like 7 and 8 billion, which some futurists predict may one day become none if this planet should soon become an uninhabitable wasteland.
Our totemic identifiers may have become little more than placeholders establishing imagined legitimacy of a fictionalized history suggesting that to be civilized means to have been found or discovered. The powerful have attained recognition by subscribing to an economic belief emphasizing that “survival of the fittest” privileges the bully.
However, it is Nature that continues to prove the inverse to be true: that mutual aid and interdependence are the paths to survival. Our ecological biodiversity is the principle truth, not the power wielded by privatization and militarization. Our population, the 7 soon 8 billion, that is not the number of extinction, those are the 7 and 8 billion pairs of hands that will restore our ecological biodiversity, and define our Wellbeing.
Whether islands in oceans, or mountain villages, or gated in cities or affluent suburbs or enclosed in shantytowns and ghettos, we have evolved far beyond the historicist’s vision of an origin story. Ours is a story of supply chains. We divide our labor, we engage in exchange.
Whether we walk or sail or fly whether we journey or aimlessly drift, the geography of islands, deserts, oceans, and mountains may, to some degree have determined how natural partitions give boundaries to who we are, but the movement of people towards markets of exchange reject the imposed partitions of states and islands and instead recognize oceans, mountains, and deserts as merely the spectacle between markets, the interstitial space that would eventually define the breeding ground for military campaigns and conquest and the wastelands of nuclear testing or dumping. We are all migrants living within and between markets of exchange.
Some may self-identify as puritans, yet they trade as cannibals, as violent traders that cannibalize markets. Their economy is predatory and fierce. In the history of the world, there is no greater example of a cannibalistic system than the waning days of neoliberalism when Wall Street spectacularly imploded our financial system as investment markets consumed their own debt, hungered for credit default swaps, and feasted on derivatives and debt securities.
As we have imposed the capitali$t moniker atop every tower and monument, will this system remain as if the conclusion of our human development has only evolved to reach this place?
How can we approach human reciprocity and exchange when the stratifications of trade and commerce divide us? When assumptions over economic and ecological biodiversity continue to privilege a discourse that governs the flow of trade towards a center of power that manipulates what is political, sovereign, and legal, the production or truth, the manufacturing of consent punishes difference and deviancy with tactics of exclusion, obfuscation, and containment.
We cannot enforce Sustainable Development as another top-down process where international organizations try to exploit our consent.
This is the time for Peoples of the World to mobilize against a common foe, against those forces of tyranny and industrial greed perpetuating a system that continues to alienate us from our indigenous and customary interactions with our land and resources.
We support sound climate goals and respect the science, but not at the expense of alienating us from humble traditional livelihoods.
We are trans-local and interglobal, and require an economy that is just, fair and equitable.
Maxim: GDP is not healthy for people and planet!
Arrow: Changes to National Accounts must include a robust revision of our Wellbeing and Ecological Biodiversity.
The United Nations, has recently announced a draft proposal to replace GDP with a System of Environmental-Economic Accounts and will include ecosystem services into the national accounting system.
We have nearly 50 years of evidence that our national accounting system has been grossly unjust, enforcing immense disparities between the so-called advanced economies and the rest of the world.
How our countries account for economic growth has put our environments at risk. The aggregates for GDP, or our Gross Domestic Product, are built upon the eroding pillars of Production, Consumption, Distribution and Exchange of Goods and Services, with no financial accounting of our Wellbeing or Ecological Biodiversity.
With this new United Nations environmental accounting system, there is a tremendous opportunity for developing countries, indigenous peoples, and interfaith groups to mandate Wellbeing and sound ecological priorities, that could set a new just, fair, and equitable path forward in how we measure our interactions with the global economy.
Maxim: The logic of Disaster Capitalism has shackled Carbon PPM in our Atmosphere.
Arrow: Ecological Data is a Peoples Commons, a 21st-century pathway for people to participate in an economy based on restoring our climate.
When the pillars for measuring economic growth were built between the World Wars they were designed to measure industrial outputs, labor, land, and resources, and trade in international markets; interactions that would give value to our national monetary system. When it was standardized by the United Nations in the 1950s, GDP was adopted to provide all the newly formed countries with an economic roadmap that would help them navigate their way into the international system.
Upon its adoption, it was not intended to be a neocolonial or anti-communist tool, as different countries and economic systems used national accounting in ways that privileged their own social and economic strengths. It was simply a guideline to measure our industrial economic interactions.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1989, GDP was revised to reinforce the neoliberal privatization and capitalization tools that entwined transnational corporations with freemarket governments, giving investment regimes tremendous economic advantages over small economies.
The objectives of that 1993 national accounting revision became a system that benefited the priorities of privatization and capitalization at a time when the unipolar, neoliberal system was well positioned to take advantage of desperate economic conditions resulting from the Soviet collapse. Today, climate change is no different: Disaster capitalism is a vulture preying on Vulnerability, Fragility, and Conflict.
Despite attempts to include environmental degradation and resource depletion, and household work into our national accounting system, in the 2008 revision, national accounting was again revised, this time to include military systems and Research and Development, further enhancing the priorities of militarized and advanced economies, while ignoring global health and our ecological biodiversity. Despite the fact that in that very same year, the Wall Street financial collapse proved that the neoliberal system was not only grossly unfair, and unjust, but also systemically deficient, privileging the corporate 1%.
Maxim: A top-down consent process is not consent!
Arrow: We must invoke free prior and informed consent, and develop our own methodologies!
Maxim: Ecological Data is a Peoples’ Commons and is not for the management of privatized and militarized conservation regimes.
Arrow: Invoke new accounting methodologies valuing our interactions with peoples and the restoration of our environments.
Restoration of our ecological biodiversity belongs to the People, not for the financial benefit of privatized and militarized Conservation Regimes.
Maxim: A Peoples’ Campaign is interglobal.
Arrow: We must aim for trans-local exchange. Reciprocity in the 21st century must not contain or obstruct people-to-people development of our ecological engagement. We all share in our ecological biodiversity.
What is ecological works. That is the fundamental by which we should be measuring our laws and economies.
We can no longer afford to talk about our economy as something divorced from ecology. We need to be clear that in the case of our planet, our ecology works. Millions of years of evolution have created an ecosystem of mutual interactions, and for thousands of those years– maybe tens of thousands– humans have developed a notion of economy: of trade, infrastructure, and supply chains.
It is simple enough to trace the evolution of law and economic principles and we can readily pinpoint the moments in history when industry-friendly governments promoted their laws above the laws of nature. As we look for solutions to fix our existential crises, why do we turn to outdated economic models that created these crises, to begin with?
Throughout industrialization, militarized economies continue to enslave, displace, rob, contaminate, contain, obstruct and exterminate cultures and environments. An economy must EQUALIZE and REPAIR that wrong.
Revising national accounts can promote a new system that brings our economy and ecology into harmony.