Getting to enough

How we'll solve the dilemma that's destroying our world

2 thoughts on “Getting to enough”

  1. Given the possible/feasible conundrum, the Cascade Institute’s focus on the ‘adjacent possible’ space is well taken. But exactly what ‘unrealized and/or unrecognized’ interventions occupy this space? One such intervention draws new attention to the moral dimension of our global environmental predicament, as described by William Ophuls:

    The destruction of nature is the consequence not of policy errors that can be remedied by smarter management, better technology, and stricter regulation, but rather of a catastrophic moral failure that demands a radical shift in consciousness.

    This aligns with the opinion expressed in Commanding Hope that wrecking Earth would be “an unparalleled moral calamity, an unmitigated evil” (p.350), and that what we’re doing is “just wrong, plain and simple” (p.351). It follows that there’s “a need to articulate clear moral and existential principles that position us all in a larger narrative of social purpose while giving guidance for what’s right and fair” (p.341).

    On this view, mining the ‘adjacent possible’ space could lead to a new emphasis on the humanities; it could decisively shift the analytical terrain from ‘how’ questions – how can we achieve sustainability – to ‘why’ questions which probe more deeply into the metaphysical dimensions of life on Earth. We will no doubt continue to work in the trenches for concrete change but, arguably, the battle for planetary sustainability, and for the survival of our species, will be won or lost in the ideational domain.

    I develop this theme, which may be of interest to the ‘norm cascades’ group, at my website.

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