How natural are you?

“In 50 years, we will have exhausted all sources of xxx, and industry will need to look for a replacement.”

“The planet’s ecosystems supply us with services whose annual value is estimated at xxx trillion USD.”

“Industry should be made to pay for externalities” like clean air and water.

Take some deep breaths and think about it. As you breathe in, picture the air (and all it carries) on its way around your body, literally keeping you alive. As you breathe out, feel that a part of yourself goes with your breath.

Now try to convince yourself that air is an ‘externality’.

Am I the only one to be disturbed by some of the strange ideas that seem to be taken for granted? – myths like

  • Nature exists to serve us
  • Natural resources are there for us to ‘exhaust’ as we please
  • It’s normal to behave in ways that poison the air, water and soil
  • Nature is not us

“Polluter pays” is giving way to the concept of payment for ecosystem services – well, it’s an improvement. But isn’t there a risk that it’s actually just perpetuating the idea that ‘we’ are the centre of the universe, and separate from nature?

Maybe what we need most is a new economic system based on valuing what is actually of value. If we value life.

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