Of Need and Greed

2202 Words9 Pages
International Conference on
New & Renewable Energy Development

The Rector
The university of saint Joseph
The speakers’ hall
27 october 2011

of need & greed

The story of the City of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania is, perhaps, the best example of how to manage existing and dwindling resources at a time of reduced means. On the other hand, the panorama of new and renewable energy today is filled with mostly mega projects, and assumed solutions that are only that, assumed. No matter what happens, the highest values of humanity have to supersede the expediencies of engineering. It is, however, undeniable, that we are compressed by issues that require immediate and all encompassing approaches.

We seem to be corralled by the
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There is no self-awareness in ecosystems, no language, no consciousness and no culture; and therefore no justice, nor democracy; but also no greed, nor dishonesty. We cannot learn anything about those human values and shortcomings from ecosystems. But what we can learn from them is how to live sustainably. During more than three billion years of evolution, the planet’s ecosystems have organized themselves in subtle and complex ways so as to maximize sustainability.

Human communities have not learned enough, for, at least in our times, the major political and economic systems – socialism and capitalism – in their more extreme forms, have spawned some of the contrived ills that continue to destroy our ecosystems. James Gustave Speth[3], in his 2008 book: Bridge at the Edge of the World, writes:

Where corporate globalists see the spread of democracy and vibrant market economies, citizen movements see the power to govern shifting away from people and communities to financial speculators and global corporations replacing democracies of people with democracies of money, replacing self-organizing markets with centrally planned corporate economies, and replacing diverse cultures with cultures of greed and materialism.

Indeed, this tension between the benefits (and pitfalls) of a globalized world and the notion of democracy, as experienced in the nation-state, is a common focus of
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