Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sustainable development... ?

This past week I've been driving back to Darwin from Melbourne with my Parents and Brother. We've seen some amazing country, felt the cool desert air and I have had time to contemplate many things.

There were some lovely sights. As always I noticed a lot of bird life including many Wedge-tailed eagles feeding by the roadside. I stopped half a dozen times to remove kangaroo corpses from the road in the hope that I might save an eagle from becoming the next fatality.

Crested pigeon
Crested Pigeon NT

Major Mitchel Cocatoos
Major Mitchel Cockatoo NT

Wedge-tailed eagle
Wedge-tailed Eagle NT

While away I read a book called The Road by Cormack McCarthy. It moved me deeply and left me feeling quite raw and busted open... cracked like a nut.
Possibly one of the best books I've read. I don't know why, there were so few words. It was bleak. It was like eating a dirt sandwich with nothing but ash to wash it down with and the bleak miserableness of a wet cold bed for comfort! READ IT YOU WILL KNOW!

It is impossible to deny the truth in this book and it evokes a grief that is as unfathomable as the nature of God itself or the stark possibility oblivion instead.

The Pope is in Sydney today addressing the World Youth Day pilgrims. We listened to his speech with some interest and I had a bit of a moment of clarity when I heard the familiar slogan 'Sustainable development' mentioned. The concept of sustainable development has been sinking in with me lately and I have decided to turn my back on the whole concept as an oxymoron! It is an illusion devised to deceive the population of industrialized countries into feeling better about our continued efforts to plunder the earths resources. For Jargon like this I must be a skeptic.
It seems to me that in the minds of human beings, in commerce and in political spheres, the word development is linked directly to construction and expansion. With the world in such a state of environmental degradation and when food production is so obviously suffering from the effects of exhausted natural systems we must accept that our current concept of development is in direct contrast to any notion of sustainability.
Will we ever learn to nurture a realistic social and environmental habitat in which we can thrive? Or will we continue to subscribe to the sustainable development mantra and remain committed to the destruction of our only beloved Earth?

Discussing these issues with my wife she came forth with an alternative slogan that offers some real hope for a future.


The reduction of human pressure on the Earths precious resources for the future welfare of all life on Earth.

harvest times
Some of the recent harvest from "Our little Patch of paradise"


Theresa said...

I love your new family slogan! There is an interesting book about sustainable development by Joseph Stiglitz, former world bank economist, called 'Globalisation and its discontents'. I didn't love the book, but it does explain the true meaning behind the oxymoronic term that has been twisted and obscured by governments and corporations!

Cookiemouse said...

You pictures are amazing. All your points about sustainable development are right. We can but try. Our little permaculture action in Amsterdam is making headway. It's not always easy, but if we network and share ideas, then we have a fighting chance.