Challenging simple concepts can save planet EarthMay 30th, 2009 - 1:44 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, May 30 (ANI): A democracy activist has said that challenging simple concepts can save planet Earth from demise.
In a speech at Ottawa’s Carleton University as part of the 78th Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, author and democracy activist Frances Moore Lappe called for a wholesale revamping of the way we view government, the economy and democracy.
“If we manage to do it, we can save ourselves from our own demise,” she said.
She said many people today are frightened by the potential for disaster, ecological and otherwise, and fearful that nothing can be done to prevent it.
But, according to Lappe, we can do something - if we challenge five assumptions about the way the world works.
The first is that going green means “powering down,” or reducing our consumption of energy.
Lappe said all we have to do is stop getting energy from fossil fuels and start getting it from renewable sources like the sun.
“Every day the sun supplies us with 15,000 times the amount of energy we’re now using in fossil fuels,” she said.
“If everyone had a solar panel or windmill on their roof, we wouldn’t be dependent on oil companies - and as individuals, we’d feel more in control of our own destiny,” she added.
“The second idea to dispense with is that going green means an end to economic growth. What we have to do is change our idea of what growth is,” she said.
“There’s plenty of room for growth, she says, if we learn to do things more efficiently,” she added.
The third idea Lappe wants to challenge is the notion that humans are by nature greedy, self-centred and materialistic.
“Under certain conditions, we can be monsters. But, there wouldn’t be 6.8 billion of us on the planet today if we didn’t also have positive qualities such as empathy, cooperation and fairness,” she said.
The fourth idea she disputes is that we dislike rules.
She said that humans crave structure, particularly rules that make sense to us as individuals and which foster a sense of inclusion.
The final concept she wants to challenge is the idea that our problems are so pressing there’s no time for democracy, and only an authoritarian regime can save us.
She believes the only hope for the planet is to trust in people and set rules that bring out the best in us. (ANI)
Tags: assumptions, carleton university, demise, democracy activist, economic growth, empathy, energy from fossil fuels, fairness, fourth idea, frances moore, going green, humanities and social sciences, oil companies, own destiny, planet earth, plenty of room, renewable sources, revamping, solar panel, windmill