Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sustainable Citizenship

The pile of unfiled papers was beginning to shade out the light in my home office, so given the rather chilly windy weather today I decided to finally tackle it. Not only did I get everything either filed or recycled I also managed to shred old tax records for recycling. One gem I have overlooked since I had found it was Andrew Dobson's Sustainability Citizenship. Dobson  a professor of political science at Keele University (UK) in a nice concise manner tackles much of what I find fault with in many U.S. sustainability efforts in a pithy and readily digestible manner.

book cover Ironically, I authored a book chapter on the same topic Sustainable Citizenship: The Challenge for Students and Their Institutions in The Sustainable University: Green Goals and New Challenges for Higher Education Leaders at about the same time or I would have referenced it in my own work.

Dobson quickly dissects the error of market dominance. He feels that "it [market dominance] will fail in the long term because it doesn't engage people at the level of principle." He goes on to argue briefly for moving from the market to civil society involvement in deciding the ethical judgments that should guide us forward.

 This brief paper is one of several now posted at the Greenhouse Think Tank a UK focused non-profit with a strong set of beliefs (see below). Shorter pieces are entitled Greenhouse Gases.(cute) The think tank's philosophy is laid out below for your consideration.

This We Believe

We believe in the human race: we believe that we are wise and clever enough to think and act our way out of the terrible crisis that we as a species have created for ourselves.

We believe in the power of the people. We believe that one day our country and our world will see true demo-cracy: the rule of the people by the people for the people.

We believe in massive co-ordinated action on climate, in a just transition, in public services, in equality, in a dynamic-equilibrium economy, in restorative justice, in localisation, and in real care for the future.

We believe that the economy is more than just a machine to produce more and more trinkets and that the pie has to stop growing because the ingredients are running out.

We believe that the ownership of land is a historical mistake, and that animals cannot be our property.

We believe in the future and that the interests of future people carry as much weight as our own.

We believe that the time is right for a thinktank that is adequate to the challenges facing this country and this living planet of ours.

This we believe.