Dr. Peter Doran is a lecturer in law at the School of Law at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and a senior editor/writer with the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s reporting services at the United Nations. He is a former journalist and continues to blog occasionally as well as produce academic publications, the most recent of which is his book, A Political Economy of Attention, Mindfulness and Consumerism: Reclaiming the Commons (Routledge, 2017). The book explores, among other things, the prospect that the Anthropocene will herald a new Axial age that will witness a re-integration of spirituality and politics. Peter is also a founder member of the Green Party in Northern Ireland and long-time activist on the circular economy, ethical investment and environmental protection. He combines a deep interest in spirituality, notably Zen Buddhism, with his critical work on political economy, well being, and the Anthropocene. One of his formative experiences was a three-year voluntary period of work with the world-renowned Taize Ecumenical Community in France, working alongside its founder, Brother Roger Schutz.
The Foundations of Ecological Civilization
James Thornton is the founding CEO of ClientEarth. He is an environmental lawyer and social entrepreneur. A member of the bars of New York, California and the Supreme Court of the United States, and a solicitor of England and Wales, he moved from a Wall Street law practice to found the Citizens’ Enforcement Project at the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in New York, where he brought some 80 federal lawsuits against corporations to enforce the Clean Water Act after the Reagan Administration had stopped enforcing the law. He won these cases and embarrassed the government to start enforcing the law again. James founded ClientEarth – Europe’s first public interest environmental law organisation – in 2007. Now operating globally, it uses advocacy, litigation and research built on solid law and science to address the greatest challenges of our time – including biodiversity loss, climate change, and toxic chemicals.
The Sustainable Development Goals and Laudato si’: varieties of Post-Development? by Wolfgang Sachs
“Comparing the Agenda 2030 of the United Nations and the Laudato si’ by the Pope, both authored in 2015, one point stands out: the Development enthusiasm of the twentieth century is gone. In its place, we are now dealing with the demise of expansive modernity. The motto of the previous century (playing on words of the Lord’s Prayer), ‘on Earth as in the West’, now seems like a threat. The world is in crisis roundabout: the biosphere is being shattered and, in more ways than one, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening. While both publications agree that the global economic model can now be considered old iron, there are equally significant differences. While the Agenda 2030 seeks to repair the existing global economic model significantly, the encyclical calls for a pushing back of economic hegemony and for more ethical responsibility on all levels. While the Agenda 2030 envisions a green economy with social democratic hues, the encyclical foresees a post capitalist-era, based on a cultural shift towards eco-solidarity.”
To read the entire article, please click here (PDF).
This report by Herman Greene on the “Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization Conference” held at Pomona College, Claremont, California, June 4-7, 2015, has four parts: (1) “The Story,” (2) What the Participants Said,” (3) “A Critical Review,” and (4) “The Outcome.”
To download and read this report, please click here (PDF).
Professor Arran Gare has just published a significant analysis of ecological civilization, entitled The Philosophical Foundations of Ecological Civilization. In this interview he discusses the ways of thinking that humanity must leave behind in order to make the radical transition toward an ecological civilization. Dr. Gare also provides a compelling analysis of the core concepts that contribute to, and are promoted by, this new way of organizing human existence on this planet. We recommend this short video for people who are interested in a more complex philosophical analysis of the key notions that underlie the work of EcoCiv.