by DERRICK JENSEN on Feb 1, 2012 • 5:43 pm
We hold these truths to be self-evident:
That the real, physical world is the source of our own lives, and the lives of others. A weakened planet is less capable of supporting life, human or otherwise.
Thus the health of the real world is primary, more important than any social or economic system, because all social or economic systems are dependent upon a living planet.
It is self-evident that to value a social system that harms the planet’s capacity to support life over life itself is to be out of touch with physical reality.
That any way of life based on the use of nonrenewable resources is by definition not sustainable.
That any way of life based on the hyper-exploitation of renewable resources is by definition not sustainable: if, for example, fewer salmon return every year, eventually there will be none. This means that for a way of life to be sustainable, it must not harm native communities: native prairies, native forests, native fisheries, and so on.
That the real world is interdependent, such that harm done to rivers harms those humans and nonhumans whose lives depend on these rivers, harms forests and prairies and wetlands surrounding these rivers, harms the oceans into which these rivers flow. Harm done to mountains harms the rivers flowing through them. Harm done to oceans harms everyone directly or indirectly connected to them.
That you cannot argue with physics. If you burn carbon-based fuels, this carbon will go into the air, and have effects in the real world.
That creating and releasing poisons into the world will poison humans and nonhumans.
That no one, no matter how rich or powerful, should be allowed to create poisons for which there is no antidote.
That no one, no matter how rich or powerful, should be allowed to create messes that cannot be cleaned up.
That no one, no matter how rich or powerful, should be allowed to destroy places humans or nonhumans need to survive.
That no one, no matter how rich or powerful, should be allowed to drive human cultures or nonhuman species extinct.
That reality trumps all belief systems: what you believe is not nearly so important as what is real.
That on a finite planet you cannot have an economy based on or requiring growth. At least you cannot have one and expect to either have a planet or a future.