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UN report on need for visions.

by on March 14, 2010

This is quite excellent. Very GardenWorld.

Other worlds are possible
Other Worlds are Possible – the new economics foundation

This report argues that our chances of triumphing over climate change will rise dramatically if we change the context within which we ‘fght its fre’. More than that, it suggests that we are already surrounded by a sleeping architecture of better ways to organise our economies, communities and livelihoods. We have, in fact, much more choice about our collective economic future than we have been led to believe. The challenge, it seems, is now clear, and many of the solutions known. The task is to act.

In October 2004, Up in smoke? the frst report from the UK Working Group on Climate Change and Development, warned that climate change threatened a great reversal of human progress. It created a united call for action from environment and development groups and identifed three overarching challenges:
1  How to stop and reverse further climate change.
2  How to live with the degree of climate change that cannot be stopped.
3  How to design a new model for human progress and development that is climate proof and climate friendly and gives everyone a fair share of the natural resources on which we all depend.

Whilst great furries of activity now surround the frst and, to a lesser degree, the
second of these questions, it is the third which remains neglected. If anything, as the world struggles to recover from a major economic recession, the opposite is happening. From the banking sector to high street consumerism in rich countries, there appears to be a rush to return to business as usual. It as is if policy-makers and
commentators fnd it impossible to imagine a world fundamentally different, and better, than the one we already have. Yet the danger is that, without deeply rethinking our economic system to deliver good lives which do not cost the Earth, we will end up with a world much worse than the one we have.

A narrowing of visions

‘Development’ should mean different things in different places and cultural settings. It should describe a plurality of ways of seeing and interacting with a complex and varied world, itself shaped by diverse political and economic agendas. It should be a diffcult word to defne because its meaning changes across time and space.
Unfortunately, however, it is not. If anything, it has come to mean something uniform – a one-path-fts-all trajectory for societies, regardless of place, culture and circumstance. A narrow economic defnition of the term has come to dominate; its
meaning largely set by industrialised countries to favour their own economic interests.
But, this report is not an attempt to produce a singly alternative manifesto to
business-as-usual; it is an argument for plurality of development models. We have
the unprecedented challenge of meeting human need in the face of climate change,
resource scarcity and a deeply troubled world economy. To this upheaval, there is
unlikely to be a single other answer.

We are confdent, however, of the urgent need to use different models. In that light, the report is an invitation to consider them, to begin to think more creatively and
openly about how to organise human affairs on a planet whose life support systems are stressed by our presence. And what, anyway, is the meaning of development, if it undermines the very life-support systems upon which we depend. At the very least, we are convinced that no one-size-fts-all economic approach is viable any longer.

Summary and introduction
The faith in ‘development’ can no longer escape criticism, not only because it justifes huge increases in social inequality, but because it has become dangerous, by compromising everybody’s future

Gilbert Rist, author of The history of development

This is not a time for conventional thinking or outdated dogma but for fresh and innovative intervention that gets to the heart of the problem.
UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, October 2008


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One Comment
  1. Greetings All

    Announcing my newly released synthesis
    uniting the fields
    of behavioral psychology and value ethics with considerable
    applications to a cooperative human mindset that is conducive to
    global harmony

    Here the instinctual terminology of operant conditioning pro-
    vides an elementary foundation for the subjective hierarchy of
    traditional groupings of virtues, values, and ideals. This
    formal tie-in with behavioral science effectively validates
    the subjective prerequisites of the virtuous realm, an
    innovation based upon a basic set of instinctual terms:
    namely, rewards-leniency-appetite-aversion. These instinctual
    terms, in turn, prove consistent with the higher linguistic
    hierarchy characterizing the virtuous realm: innovation
    further arranged as a hierarchy of metaperspectives – an
    ascending sequence of personal, group, spiritual, humanitarian,
    and transcendental power levels, specialized into both authority
    and follower roles. The remaining incorporation of individual
    terms is partially depicted below…

    Solicitousness . Rewards … Submission . Leniency
    Nostalgia . . H-Worship ……… Guilt . Blame
    Glory . . . . Prudence ………. Honor . Justice
    Providence . . Faith ………. Liberty . Hope
    Grace . . . . Beauty …….. Free-will . Truth
    Tranquility . Ecstasy …….. Equality . Bliss

    Appetite . + Reinforce……. Aversion . Neg. Reinforce.
    Desire . . Approval ………… Worry . Concern
    Dignity . Temperance …… Integrity . Fortitude
    Civility . Charity ……… Austerity . Decency
    Magnanimity . Goodness …. Equanimity . Wisdom
    Love . . . . . Joy …………. Peace . Harmony

    Furthermore, the behavioral terminology for punishment serves as
    the foundation for the darker realm of the vices of defect, a
    mirror-image reflection of the virtuous mode, with the exception
    that punishment discourages behaviors judged not suitably
    solicitous or submissive: as partially portrayed below..

    No Solicitous. No Rewards.. No Submissive . No Leniency
    Laziness . Treachery ……… Negligence . Vindictiveness
    Infamy . Insurgency ………… Dishonor . Vengeance
    Prodigal . Betrayal …………. Slavery . Despair
    Wrath . Ugliness ……………. Tyranny . Hypocrisy
    Anger . Abomination ……….. Prejudice . Perdition

    No Appetite . Punishment … No Aversion . Punishment
    Apathy . Spite ………….Indifference . Malice
    Foolish . Gluttony …………. Caprice . Cowardice
    Vulgarity . Avarice ………… Cruelty . Antagonism
    Oppression . Evil ………. Persecution . Cunning
    Hatred . Iniquity ……… Belligerence . Turpitude

    In summary, the operant form of conditioned behavior represents
    an instinctual legacy we share with the rest of the
    animal kingdom. This behavioral foundation, in turn, permits
    support for the linguistic hierarchy of motivational terms, an
    innovation permitted through the symbolism of the human
    speech lexicon. Indeed, mankind’s transition to an urban culture
    lead to the development of the higher traditions of virtues and
    values crucial for maintaining social order, as systematized
    within the language tradition. For instance, the tradition of
    the cardinal virtues was championed by the Greek
    philosopher Plato to define the social stratification within the
    Greek city-state of his day. Furthermore, the attendant spiritual
    and humanitarian traditions celebrated timeless themes: such as the
    classical Greek values and the humanistic values. Ultimately, a
    mystical tradition emerges, as expressed in the crowning set of
    mystical values (ecstasy-bliss-joy-harmony). What lies beyond
    this final nameable realm of mysticism remains open to debate,
    described only as the “supernatural” domain, permitting the
    potential for a “top-down” pattern of influence as well.
    Indeed, this system has been granted US patents #6587846 and 7236963

    A complete listing of ethical terms is posted at:

    A more detailed treatment is also posted at:

    John E. LaMuth – M.S.
    P.O. Box 105
    Lucerne Valley, CA 92356

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