Ecological Debt: Who owes Whom?Presentation Transcript
ECOLOGICAL DEBT: WHO OWES WHOM?Picture: nasa.gov
TRADITIONAL DEFINITIONS extraction of natural resources ecologically unequal terms of trade intellectual appropriation putting at risk the food and cultural sovereignty contamination of the atmosphere chemical and nuclear weaponsPicture: thedailygreen.com , bbc.co.uk
: “the debt accumulatedby Northern, industrial countries toward ThirdWorld countries on account of resourceplundering, environmental damages, and the freeoccupation of environmental space to depositwastes, such as greenhouse gases, from theindustrial countries”(AcciónEcológica, Ecuador, quoted in BellamyFoster and Clark 2003,193).“The annual ecological debt of the North, owedto the South, without even looking at thecumulative impact, is thus calculated to be at leastthree times the financial debt that the southcurrently `owes‟ to the North” (Bellamy Fosterand Clark 2003,196).
RESOLUTION: INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE RECOGNITION AND PAYMENT OF THE ECOLOGICAL DEBTThird World Industrializationstripped of and Big Mac External Debt Ecological Debt resources Lifestyles – used as Political Compoundingbeginning in disproportionate Pressure 1492 pollution Principal Causes of Unsustainability
COMMUNITIES AND COUNTRIES TO ADOPT THE FOLLOWING: Existence of Ecological Debt Cease trade that External Debt increases has already been ecological debt paid by WTO Cease lines of Restore affected Credit by areasIMF/Worldbank Cancel Structural Cease intellectual Adjustment appropriation Programs Change Lifestyles
WHERE IS CANADA SITUATED IN THIS DEBATE?
Question:Is it possible for Canada to implement renewableenergy platform? Considering Canada‟sconservative political climate, especially inAlberta, what needs to change before Canada canintroduce “green” policies?
LIMITS TO GROWTH/SURVIVALIST APPROACH
THE LIMITS TO GROWTH APPROACH Limits to Growth/Survivalists often argue for the equitable and sustainable economies. “The ecological debt arises from two separate problems. These problems can be combined in order to calculate the ecological debt in monetary terms.” Second, rich countries use First, raw materials and other environmental space andproducts exported from relatively services poor countries are sold at prices disproportionately, withoutthat do not include compensation payment, and without for local or global externalities. recognition of property rights (for instance, the free use of carbon dioxide absorption capacities). From the Heinreich Böll Foundation:
LIMITS TO GROWTH: ACTORS AND APPROACHES “think globally, act stocks of non-renewable globally” resourceselites (government; experts capacity of ecosystems to in produce renewablemodeling, ecology, biology) resources human population as an aggregate entity whose size and growth are considered an aspect Mainly limited to those with access to power or a recognized voice- individuals without this access are hardly recognized
THE LIMITS TO GROWTH APPROACH – ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINTMeasure ecological debt as a measure of both public debt and ecological footprint: Using the ecological footprint as ameasure of ecological debt and global overshoots, the comparison is then made between North and Southcountries due to previous development and current consumption.
LIMITS TO GROWTHS SOLUTIONS Limits to growth proponents do not claim to know the way for each country, but instead call for this viewpoint, and especially the use of ecological footprints, to be used when constructing policy.Kitzes et al. (2008) suggest 3 possible approaches to address ecological debt using ecological footprints, each with their own benefits and problems: 1. Use of historical patterns and current baselines 2. Making national footprints proportional to national capacity 3. Equal shares per person
EARTH OVERSHOOT DAY
LIMITS TO GROWTH VIEWPOINT “Parts of Europe like France, Germany and even, falteringly, the UK, are patting themselves on the back for the first, flickering signs of recovery from recession. Small glimmers of economic growth may hearten old-style finance ministries, but they also meangoing back to the days of debt-fuelled over-consumption that got us into the problem in the first place.” Andrew Simms, 2009
Actors - Economists ● Mostly Economists (including resource extracting firms) ○ Free market economy will answer the question of ecological debt, once natural resources and common spaces are commodified.
Commodification If commodified, those who have an interest in the preservation of ecology will work to ensure preservation. Citizens may do so by voting for representatives with a “Green” platform for government, by creating preservation aimed organizations like WWF or Sierra Club. Perhaps firms with a particular interest in nature may invest in renewable energy production. This means that it is not any one person or persons accountable to care for ecology.
Actors - Government○ Usually right-leaning conservativegovernments with stronger confidence incapitalism which believes nature is to be used bypeople.1. Implementation of Cap and Trade 2. Separation of production from Government Policies sustainability3. Imposing a Carbon Tax
~ These policies all allow rich firms who arecreating this ecological debt to continueusing natural resources for profit.~ Through this system, the poorer countriesof the world are paying the ecological debtcreated by the richer countries.
Commodification assumes people have the means and knowledge to distinguish ecologically harmful actsCommodification rewards homoeconomicus behaviour. Ignores human nature, equality and responsibility.Cap and Trade allows rich countries to continue producing green-house gases and excavating large areas of land.Cap and trade disregards pollution from cars, office buildings, and small factories, etc. Conservative governments often deny that expanding the oil industrycannot be separated from increasing greenhouse gases and rapid climate change. Large emitters can pay the carbon tax and still produce a large eco- footprint. Smaller emitters are penalized.
Deep Ecology and Ecological Debt susan-proctor.com
Shift Away fromAnthropocentric ArroganceShift to Transpersonal EcologyChanges in Lifestyle on Behalfof the NorthSelf within „Self ‟
The Miracle Toilet: Cholera-Fertilizer Toilet Program http://video.nytimes.com/video/2010/12/01/o pinion/1248069392074/the-miracle-toilet.html
REDEFINING HOME: BIG VS. GREAT “An animal‟s home is When you see an utilitarian, not animal shelter, you see excessive. Animals‟ it as part of homes are made of nature, not an natural materials: impenetrable barrier mud, sticks, sod, bam between that animal boo, straw. Animals‟ and the natural world. homes will Our shelters should degrade, once be constantly abandoned, or they changing, growing, dewill be taken over and grading, according tomaintained by another our needs. Shelter isanimal. Animals live in transient, malleable, so homes that mething that we can breathe, that don‟t abandon from season poison them. to season, if our needs dictate.”
Means to Resolve Ecological Debt Through Deep Ecology Shifts in Personal Change in Tackeling Governments Redefine notionsPhilosophical Concepts of Population and of Hierarchy and Changes Markets Growth Governmental Authoritarianism Policy
CONSUMER CAPITALISM“Capitalistic civilization dominates present age production relationships.Capitalist economy is responsible for degradation of agro-ecology (land)." Capitalism has already had its grip over our lives. Land is increasingly becoming a secondary source of livelihood. People‟s entire lives are market based and riskier.Farmers are forced to produce crops for industries and commerce.
CONSUMER DIVIDE: NORTH VS. SOUTH North South• 20% of pop. Makes 86% of • The poorest fifth produces purchases. 3 percent of the total• Richest fifth consumes 58% carbon dioxide. of all energy.• Richest fifth produce 53% of carbon dioxide. • Souce: United Nations Development Programme, 1998.
CONSEQUENCES OF CONSUMER CAPITALISM “Globalization enlarges Western capital‟s pool of available productive labourers, compensating to some extent for the relative shrinkage of domestic productive capacity.” Development at the expense of foreign workers “To provide basic amenities to all peoples (in the next 40 years), it is estimated that the consumption of energy will increase 5 to 35 times today‟s levels.” Growth in Labor Manufacturing sectors.
CONSUMER CAPITALISM AND RESPONSIBILITY Who Pays? Individuals in the Global Reduction ofNorth are not expected to cut Redistribution sources that drive their overall consumption consumerism
SUGGESTED SOLUTIONSConditions for Against sustainable sustainable capitalism capitalism Higher taxes on raw materials Creation of new products and outputs further degrade the land Value-added tax on Autonomism, global environmentally friendly governance, decommodification products of life, deglobalization of capital
GREEN TAXES AND GREEN CONSUMERISM “Are designed to induce consumers to make purchases that are less environmentally damaging. An alternative market based means to the sameend is provision of information about the environmental impact of a good, to facilitate green consumerism.”
THE ECOFEMINIST PERSPECTIVE thegreenelephant.us
Without regenerative labors,humanity couldn’t exist.
Who are the actors in this debate? lifepositive.com arielsalleh.info cnsjournal.org
ECOLOGICAL DEBT Social debt Ecological debt Embodied debt
The North-South Divide and Ecofeminism school.edturtle.co.uk How does it relate to ecological debt?