“El hábitat específico de la especie humana es cada vez más la intersección entre dos esferas: la esfera de la naturaleza y la esfera de la cultura. Dos ecosistemas con fortalezas y debilidades bien distintas. Mientras que el ecosistema natural es fuerte pero finito, el ecosistema cultural es infinito pero frágil. Así como la Revolución Industrial trajo consigo la devastación irresponsable de materias primas y combustibles procedentes de la naturaleza, suscitando el nacimiento de la conciencia medioambiental a finales del siglo XX, a principios del siglo XXI el uso masivo e indiscriminado de los recursos del ecosistema cultural en nombre de ciertos modelos de desarrollo que no incluyan su dimensión cultural determina la imprescindibilidad de una nueva conciencia, también ecológica, con respecto a la cultura“.
“Today we see the birth of a new culture of sharing and cooperation that is not just mutualizing knowledge, but also material resources, and aims to turn our operating system ‘upside down’, to a new configuration where the externalities of nature are respected, the sharing of culture, science and innovation becomes the norm, and both of these changes generate a more just social order.
Any approach which denies that a cultural revolution is the prerequisite for more fundamental change, denies the value of human intentionality and sociality, and is bound to fail in its ambitions for change. This is why culture is the absolutely indispensable fourth pillar of sustainablility. Not an add-on, but the source from which the other changes proceed. It is through culture that we change our vision of the world, both the existing one, which increasingly shocks our ethical sensibilities, and the one that we are co-constructing to replace it“.
“I have skimmed a few of the curtain raisers for next week’s Earth Summit in Rio, and sure enough, they fall into the familiar pattern of ‘If I ruled (or at least ‘managed’) the world’ documents: a summary of the research evidence, a call to arms (in this case save planet and species, preferably both), and a shopping list of policy recommendations.
In such reports, all solutions seem to be win-win. Beyond vague appeals for political will, there is almost no discussion of politics (there’s an election going on in the US – do you think that might be germane?), power (who gets to decide what, and what are their motivations) or the chain of events (shocks, elections, scandals, cumulative pressure from citizens, peer pressure from governments) that might possibly lead to something being agreed. Reports typically employ the passive tense – ‘innovation/cash/leadership is needed’, neatly avoiding having to identify just who has to do it, and why they might decide to do so“.
Claire Melamed, Andrew Scott and Tom Mitchell:
“Is it possible to achieve progress on poverty while remaining within environmental limits? What role can global agreements play in promoting positive action on both environmental and development issues?
Clearly there are significant overlaps between these issues. Dirty development causes climate change, climate change impacts poor people, and the health of ecosystems and availability of environmental resources shapes economic growth and well-being.
2015 will be a defining year for international policy on development and the environment. However, the history of trying to link development and environmental objectives through actual policy initiatives is not encouraging. ‘Sustainable development’, a concept originating in the Brundtland Report of 1987, has become the mantra in global policy circles since the first Rio conference in 1992, but it has had remarkably little impact on actual policy.”