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Entries in agriculture (1)

Saturday
Oct242009

Branching Pathways of Development

We are now facing an eco-social crisis of immense proportions. The Eco-social distress syndrome is a pervasive multi-dimensional dysfunctional relation between our species and the rest of nature and also among ourselves, an incongruence between the magnitude of the problems and our organizational and intellectual capacity to confront them. It is more global than previous crises, reaches deeper into the ground, higher into the atmosphere, it affects more aspects of our lives, even offering eyes and kidneys and the creative products of our arts and the fruit of our thought for sale, emotional support and wombs for rent. It is more long lasting and less reversible. It includes the undermining of our main life support systems—forestry, fishing, range land and cropland. It includes the exhaustion of non-renewable resources and over-use of renewable ones to the point where they may be lost for ever. It pollutes our physical and social habitats (air, water with toxic substances and bigotries) and makes us more vulnerable to new and resurgent infectious disease in people, animals and plants. It creates demographic imbalance and is provoking disastrous climate change. It increases the frequency of local and short term disasters. There is a great gap between the magnitude of the problems and our knowledge for coping with them. Worse, it erodes our homeostatic system, our capacity to respond to the changing conditions.

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