Nature Vs Ownership

Environmentalism is dragging us into a headlong collision with the human passion for ownership. What was necessary at one time, as an act of acquisition for security and safety reasons, is fast becoming a license to destroy planet-essential habitats like the Amazon rainforest.

There is no question that every human on this planet has a right to lay claim to essential resources for survival, comfort and improvement to their life condition. Nature’s resources have always been put at their disposal as a solution to this problem. When, by virtue of human ingenuity, the excess value of production must eventually become the resource of economic support for everyone, simply in order for this planet, its moderate weather system and the balance of its natural processes to survive in a way that sustains life, most particularly in our view, human life.

To continue burning the candle at both ends-putting excess value, otherwise known as “profit”, into the hands of the very few, the rich-who hide it when it’s most needed-and allowing the economically poor to ravage an already deeply stressed planetary environment-must be regarded as human suicide.

The only sane solution is seriously to reconsider the viability of ownership. Human rights are deeply rooted in this concept, making it sacrosanct even to consider its transformation or demise-making anyone doing so traitor to human values.

But we can no longer sit back in comfort within traditional values if, in the process, we’re dying. But such might be the case. Already we’re afraid that we’ve let things go too far, that we should have acted a long time ago. Yet that would have been precipitous, making any such premature action both desperate and tyrannical. We’ve have needed the time to learn how to understand how all the pieces of our Earthly life go together to make a whole. Though there’s still so much to learn, we do now have a rudimentary sense of it.

But to wait any longer before considering every possible solution would be tragically grief-stricken … as we look back after the environment has become unlivable. Perhaps indeed we must consider severe spiritual uprooting of certain traditional assumptions, that involve rearranging the way in which resources are employed such that we can make responsible environmental and economic choices.

Like, for instance, to treat the entire planet of Earth as a shared ownership-or rather a stewardship-that cannot be used except for the benefit of all. Ownership grew up in rampant human-violent, primitive times, when it was every person or family for itself. In the perspective of today it’s a very selfish, even childish notion that asserts it’s possible for a single human life to own any part of this planet. When, most likely, the Earth belongs only to itself-which is perhaps the first, and the last, lesson of ecology.

Yet we can’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. The still valid part of ownership is its arrangement of permanence and reliability, as well as the right to imprint our nature upon it-not environmentally, but aesthetically, decoratively. But that can be easily arranged without ownership simply by a lifetime lease. And/or we may learn the advantages of living in different places around the world at different times in our life, making “home-base” a movable concept, and home a place to care for instead of using up.

Source by Don Fenn


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