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openDemocracy asks “Does environmentalism destroy the world?”

January 10, 2010

Just as I was about to dispair, openDemocracy and the ecology magazine, Resurgence have teemed up to build, wiki-style, a Dictionary of Ethical Politics.   

They say the world is entering a new epoch, one in which social justice, ecological balance, sustainable economic systems, and spiritual evolution will be inextricably woven into our political systems. We need political concepts to change to reflect the end of the limitless and that this dictionary will try to collect reflections on what these changes might need to be.

Tony Curzon Price’s article on openDemocracy says that Copenhagen should:

“… teach us that we cannot hope for elites to lead the world through change. … It is unlikely that humanity has ever been through a profound transformation prospectively before – this is an important part of the unprecedented in our current turn. If it is going to happen at all, it will be through a thorough change of understanding reflected, amongst other places, through changes in the meanings of words. The words we use everyday will need to acquire new layers of connotations and implications for how the world makes sense to us. “

Curzon Price’s point is that too much environmentalism kills the world. The ‘ism’ he refers to relates to the idiom of science. Whereas the world we live in day to day is constructed metaphorically, poetically and culturally rather than through the equations of scientists or experts. He suggests that unprecedented changes  in our relationship to the earth (the environment) require of us unprecedented changes in consciousness – in how we see and build a meaningful world.

We see and build our world through many means, but one of these is our collective understanding of words and their meanings.

I for one agree with him. Perhaps somehting as pure and simple as their proposed  Dictionary of Ethical Politics is the trigger we all need. Only time will tell.

Margi Prideaux

2 Comments leave one →
  1. tony permalink
    January 10, 2010 9:19 pm

    Thank you for the post. Maybe you would like to put in a definition of “animal” to the dictionary?

    Tony @ opendecmocracy

  2. January 19, 2010 3:09 pm

    I’d be pleased to Tony. Thank you for the invitation.

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