If the ‘elephant in the room’ behind climate disruption and other existential threats is the commitment of virtually all nations to maximising the growth of GDP while ignoring the consequences for a sustainable future, then what is the alternative? This umbrella organisation of many institutions from may countries is advocating a well -being economy that puts the well-being of people and the planet ahead of profit and accumulation of wealth and material goods and services. This 18 page pdf brochure sets out the nature of the alliance and lists the participating members.
Here is an extract:
The concept of collective well-being is familiar the world over, even though different terms might be used to describe its key idea: quality of life and flourishing for all people and sustainability for the planet. Economics and business practices need to be reoriented to what an economy should actually deliver: an equitable distribution of wealth, health and well-being, while protecting the planet’s resources for future generations and other species. By reorienting goals and expectations for business, politics and society, we can build a well-being economy that serves people and planet. A well-being economy will put people at the centre of a new economic purpose and close the gulf between the economy and democratic control. It will deliver good lives for people first time around, rather than requiring so much effort to patch things up. It will not harm people and the environment, and so will avoid having to deliver expensive downstream intervention to fix the damage caused by an economic model fixated on growth.
WEAll Citizens has the following goals: • In collaboration with others, create a strong enough vanguard power base to: change societal norms and attitudes; and force those who hold power in the current system not just to listen, but also to act • To raise the voices of the huge number of people who currently feel they are not being adequately heard, and through the connectivity of the movement strengthen their conviction and resolve to create change • To enable people to make a real difference, with tangible activities to participate via WEAll and member organisations, and linking individual actions to system change so people feel genuinely connected to a global movement • To foster a global network of informed, engaged advocates for a well-being economy, who will be supported to drive change where they are and co-create solutions to help build a well-being economy • To strengthen the impact of the work of WEAll and its member organisations • To contribute to and reinforce WEAll’s sustainability, its mandate for change and its ability to support others.
George Monbiot in this Guardian opinion piece article suggests that what is known as the Sixth Great Extinction (massive die-off of species) should instead be called the First Great Extermination because it is being conducted wilfully by one species that is continuing to burn fossil fuels that result in global warming. The article draw on Roger Hallam’s book Common Sense for the 21st Century. Hallam is a leader of the Extinction Rebellion (XR).
“just 20 fossil fuel companies, some owned by states, some by shareholders, have produced 35% of the carbon dioxide and methane released by human activities since 1965.
The oil and gas industry intends to accelerate production, spending nearly $5tn in the next 10 years on developing new reserves. It is committed to ecocide.
We are guided by an ideology so familiar and pervasive that we do not even recognise it as an ideology. It is called consumerism. It has been crafted with the help of skilful advertisers and marketers, by corporate celebrity culture, and by a media that casts us as the recipients of goods and services rather than the creators of political reality. … It’s the system we need to change, rather than the products of the system. It is as citizens that we must act, rather than as consumers. … Only mass political disruption, out of which can be built new and more responsive democratic structures, can deliver the necessary transformation. … Ten thousand people breaking the law has historically had more impact than small-scale, high-risk activism.” The key challenge is to organise actions that encourage as many people as possible to join. This means they should be openly planned, inclusive, entertaining, peaceful and actively respectful.
… this approach offers at least a possibility of breaking the infrastructure of lies the fossil fuel companies have created, and developing a politics matched to the scale of the challenges we face. It is difficult and uncertain of success. But the chances that politics as usual will meet our massive predicament with effective action are zero. Mass dilemma actions could be our last, best chance of preventing the great extermination.”
George Monbiot speaks at the XR event in London
Exterminating orangutans cannot be talked about on a TV advert . The UK regulatory body on advertising has judged that the video narrated by Emma Thomson as a christmas advert for the frozen food company Iceland cannot be shown because it is politically biased. How can an attempt to publicise the destruction of a precious ape in the tropical forests be political? 25 orangutans a day are estimated to be disappearing as their forest habitat is burnt and replaced by palm oil plantations that provide oil for processed foodstuffs and shampoo and many other products. Once again the natural world is trumped by the search for products and profits for people.18.11.19.