Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Déjà vu...?

My Global Sustainability professor, Richard Matthew, is speaking as I type about the politics of sustainability. There are some intriguing notes that I find are central themes to sustainability. He speaks of environmental exploitation of natural resources, land, and people, seeing that society has either used privatization or collectivism to perform that exploitation. It's argued that privatization has been favored over collectivism, offering more incentives to innovate, be entrepreneurial, and increase economic viability. On the same note, privatization has been the backbone in the notion that we can now put a measurement to a commodity such as water, air, and food. Companies have taken advantage of such notions.

Two weeks ago, I attended a workshop at the Sustainable Foods, Fair Trade, and Social Justice Superconvergence - "Strengthening the Roots" - called "Sustainability 201. Through discussion among fellow students, we were able to conclude on a substantive root to the exploitation of natural resources. We looked into the early history of developed countries, and realized that once property and commodities were privatized and "owned" by people, the imbalance began. Once people begin owning commodities and setting measurements to them, society has the right to sell, buy, and trade them. How do we rebalance this? Check out what our workshop discussed in an earlier entry (Day 2 of the Superconvergence).

A bit of déjà vu, no? Just without the dreaming...

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