Episode 111 Pro Extension
Happy World Environment Day! Tonight, we explore this year’s WED theme, Green Economy: Does It Include You? What does a “green economy” look like? Our relationship with the natural world reflects our understanding of the value of material existence and the symbols we use to express that value, from money, to jobs, to social justice.
We begin by exploring the history of World Environment Day and its connection to the upcoming Rio+20 conference later this month. What are the ten sectors of the economy where we can “go green” for a healthier planet? How does our understanding of natural resources and human relationships as economic capital change the way we understand the challenges of the free market in an increasingly globalized society? We explore some of the problems that are created when we attempt to commodify and monetize nature as a way of factoring in the cost of environmental destruction.
We look at how artists and innovators are approaching “green economy” in their own ways, drawing on the gifts of local communities and traditional handcrafting to transform potentially destructive aspects of globalization into new, more positive ways of reaching out to connect with others from across the world.
Plus, did you know that the vast majority of Americans believe environmental protection actually helps the economy and creates more jobs? (And they happen to be right!) We look at a new study that reveals the amazing bipartisan agreement across the political spectrum that brings Democrats and Republicans together in the common cause of protecting the planet from wanton harm in the name of better business. Even economists are beginning to speak about climate change as an example of “market failure” that needs to be corrected if we hope for a sustainable future. Nature poet and essayist Wendell Berry shares his thoughts on one possible solution: renewing our focus on local economies as a way to bring the free market back into the context of caring, compassionate community with the more-than-human world.
In our Pro extension, we look at how transitioning to a greener economy not only benefits the planet, but can also lead to happier, healthier people and more fulfilling, creative work for everyone. The Life Beyond Growth report from earlier this year explores how using modern science’s evolving understanding of human happiness and well-being, as well as a firm grasp of basic human rights, can help us distinguish between economic growth that enriches our lives and growth that might actually harm or impoverish us. Also, Tim Jackson suggests solving our economic woes by becoming less productive, placing greater value on professions of caring and craftsmanship in a world too often obsessed with supermarket consumerism.
- World Environment Day webpage
- 10 Sectors for a Greener Planet
- Banking on Biodiversity: A New Commitment to Conserve Nature
- Memo to Rio+20: ‘green economy’ doesn’t mean monetising nature
- Reviving Rivers And Weaving Traditions In Nigeria
- Environmental Musicians get on board for WED 2012 and Rio+20
- Rhythms of the Earth
- Majority of Americans Agree: Protecting the Environment Creates Jobs
- Why do economists describe climate change as a ‘market failure’?
- “The Idea of a Local Economy,” by Wendell Berry
Pro Extension Links:
- “Dollars and Cents,” by Jeremy Brooks
- Thanks to Playingwithbrushes and ~ Essence of a Dream ~ for the background textures!
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA License.
Tags: economy, environment, free market, green, jobs, local, natural resources, Rio+20, WED, world environment day