Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Language & Practice of Earth Justice

My published NYT comment #54.
May 02, 2009 6:43 pm


May 2nd, 2009 10:51 am
A Language & Practice of Earth Justice

This NYT article (see link listed below) mistakenly takes a top-down approach to Earth Justice (preferable in my view, to "conservation") by focusing on EcoAmerica, a corporate consultancy that basically is in cahoots with the Beltway.

As a participatory citizen in Democracy, whether in India or the US, I don't rely on govt, or its corporate clients, both of whom are major polluters. However I do hold these two powerful entities accountable, (with my activism and my ballot), for their policy and implementation priorities.

Instead of a top-down approach, we need a wide ranging grassroots level daily accountability from ordinary folks like me. For example, you and I can and must exercise an obligation to:

1) use less

2) recycle more

3) leave a measurably smaller footprint on the earth, on which we live, for a glorious but transient moment.

The US is undoubtedly the most wasteful and most avaricious user and disposer of resources of any nation-state on earth. All the self-promoting politicized jargon developed by EcoAmerica will not change that one iota. Unless WE, the People, do.

I'll give an example. I work at a huge urban public university. This university doesn't even have a simple directive mandating everybody on their campuses from the President to the freshman student, to print on both sides of their paper. The uni. refuses to even set their thousands of printers to print on both sides of a page. Multiply that reckless waste a hundred-thousand-fold across the university systems of America.
I once suggested double-sided printing in a memo (which I still have in my email) to my college president, but the idea, while lauded on paper (yes, more paper) predictably fell by the wayside. The conservation directive was never issued.

Education or information or 'new' language as EcoAmerica wastefully purports to do, doesn't change anything if that knowledge does not impact our lived practice in this Earth we share.

Chithra Karunakaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice
New York Times copyright
Seeking to Save the Planet, With a Thesaurus
Published: May 1, 2009

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