Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ecological Conversion and the Common Good

If the devil is in the details, does that mean God is in the big picture?

I've been intrigued recently by the notion of "ecological conversion and the common good."  I took a moment and googled those 5 words, in quotes, "ecological conversion and the common good".

One hit came up.

A friend asked me to present at Molloy College on alternative economic systems, and I offered the ideas of "the common good" from Rerum Novarum.  I introduced to those present distributism, subsidiarity, solidarity, and the newest entry-ecology...I think I made a legitimate-reasonable presentation. 

One of the students offered, "What are the odds of this actually happening."

I respect that question.

I told him, the odds change with what you do.

It's Easter week.  Holy week.  A week that should have changed the world completely....And yet, how much has the world really changed?  Often, but not always, the wolf still hunts and eats the sheep.  The strong still exploit the weak.  God's Peaceful Kingdom of love and forgiveness, can seem illusive.  In many places, it can seem a myth.

What I like about the idea of "ecological conversion" is that it could be embraced by all people.  Solar roofs can be installed, energy can be used much more efficiently, materials can be recycled,  the inestimable power of the wind can be cultivated,  intermittent energy can be stored, water can be made clean and fresh with the energy from concentrated wind and solar energy, land can be remediated...Truly, a new means of provision could be born.

I think theirs an inherent logic and goodness to transitioning an economy from ecologic exploitation to ecologic cultivation. 

But what are the odds?
To me, changing the odds are about 3 things...Ecologic policy, ecologic investment, and ecologic education.

Nature provides the example of symbiotic reciprocity.  Flowers need bees, bees need flowers, and they both thrive for the existence of the other.  But in the real world, their are predators, scavengers, and destructive parasites.  Nature can be an unforgiving master.

So we as people have a choice.  If their is individual knowledge, than people have their choices.

Cultivation or exploitation. Symbiosis or some other means of provision.


  1. You've converted me. Of course, I'm already a believer. It might be a bit more difficult to convince the average American to give up all the conforts that they have come to expect in order to live more sustainably.

    Nice post, though. You add a unique perspective to this blog.

  2. The key to what your saying is in the title of your post--the Common Good. This is a concept that we Americans seem to have lost in our never-ending quest for egoistic self-gratification.

    The concept of the Common Good means that at times I am obligated to put aside my selfish desires--however valid they might be--if those desires have the potential cause inconvenience or harm to others. The problem is that our American lifestyle itself poses a grave threat to future generations. We, therefore, need to make the move, as you say, from ecological exploitation to ecological harmony. And we need to replace our current failed economic system that is based upon short-term profits for one that is more long-term in focus and less consumptive.

    Welcome to EcoBlog, Frank!


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