Saturday, January 29, 2022

#29 / Pathetic


Although we are doing some things to address environmental threats, our general response is best described as pathetic.
Peter Seidel
When I sent in my contribution to the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy, mentioned in one of my blog postings in late December, I received, as I was promised, a book by Peter Seidel
Seidel is pictured above. He was born in 1926, and is described by Wikipedia as "an American architect-planner turned writer." Uncommon Sense, the book I received, is one of a number of Seidel's publications. The book is only a bit over 100 pages in length, and it is a quick read. As you can tell from the quote above, Seidel's book is rather unsparing in its description of where our human civilization is, and where it's going.
Uncommon Sense does not, exactly, base its analysis on the "Two Worlds" principle that I think is helpful as we think about where we are, and what we need to do, but Seidel does make clear that the Natural World is the world in which we ultimately reside:

We desperately need to recognize that the environment is at the core of our whole world - it is our world - and the stage upon which are played the comfortable lives we love so much.
In Uncommon Sense, Seidel is arguing that the single most important thing that humans can now do is to reject the idea of "economic growth" as a positive good. He acknowledges, I was happy to see, the role that "politics" must play in this reorientation of our human efforts. 

In short, I am recommending Seidel's book to anyone reading this blog posting. Easiest way to get a copy, I think, is by making a contribution to the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy. That's what I did - and I am happy that I did so. I am happy to have had the chance to hear what Peter Seidel has to say.
In the face of the environmental crises that we know confront us, our current "pathetic" efforts to respond to those crises are simply not enough!
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