[Coral-List] Finding The Real Root Visionaries

Susan_White at fws.gov Susan_White at fws.gov
Fri Sep 19 14:03:52 EDT 2008

As Bill summarizes, social evolutionary patterns can advance/adapt.  I too 
have followed this interesting thread and want to add one more thought 
that ties our challenges to economic policies.  There is at least one 
group advancing another paradigm for evolving the US (and western) 
economic policies of ever-increasing economic growth and consumption into 
a "steady state" economy based on the limits of sustainability.    You can 
find more info at the Center for the Advancement of Steady State Economy 
(CASSE):  www.steadystate.org .  Some would call it heresy, other 
brilliant.  I am not advocating one way or the other.  Our colleagues at 
the Wildlife Society have explored how economic expansion occurs at the 
expense of wildlife habitat and populations, and dedicated an issue of its 
bulletin to this topic.

Susan White, 
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 
National Wildlife Refuge System
Honolulu, HI 

"W Pierce" <wpierce at plexxcomm.net> 
Sent by: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
09/19/2008 06:09 AM

<coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>

[Coral-List] Finding The Real Root Visionaries

It looks like the discussion on this particular thread is winding down.  I
thought as an interested outsider, list lurker if you will, I’d offer this

Jameson’s concept requires a bit of sophistication. Busy people really 
pause to grasp the point. It is not one I’m accustomed to hearing.  “The
Real Root Cause” is brought to light partly as a result of increasing
population pressure but that is not Jameson’s significant finding.  It is
about how humans organize, how communities of humans are led and, most
importantly, how large organizations steer the decision making that drives
community response to natural phenomena. What Jameson identified, and we 
see, is the result of evident human limitation when acting in very large
groups, and exacerbated by population mass.  The rate at which the human
community degrades the planet apparently exceeds the rate at which our
institutions respond to that change.  Based on past performance, it might
take 200 years to advance earth consciousness to the point we need to
achieve in the next 25.  Peter Sales is right.  Believe in people.  But 
does not translate into belief in the efficacy of the institutional status
My point is this.  Human history is chockablock with repeated analysis and
identification of the limitations of our species.  Man cannot fly.  No one
can run a sub-4 minute mile.  Monarchies are divinely ordained and protect
mankind from perpetual anarchy.  For every limitation identified there has
been a countervailing success in overcoming it.  One thing we know about
ourselves is that human imagination refuses constraint. The caveat is of
course that we identify constraint. We know there is a genetic basis for
human behavior.  Science now proposes meta-genetics and suggests there are
effects that real-time behavior and thought have on the development of our
species.  Evolution is not necessarily slow.  And when we talk about 
ecological action we are not talking about growing a third eye.
Jameson proposes that we clearly identify how these limitations affect
political, social and economic organization and leadership.   His call to
“understand what we are as a species” is the modern corollary to the Greek
“know yourself”. The perspective gained from this is the necessary 
to informed action. The power of individual initiative and action is a key
influence on our ability to promote global sustainable living.  The
scientific community not only informs policy makers but popularizes the
ideas that drive decisions.  Charismatic personalities must emerge to 
knowledge and inspire constructive action.  Cinner has identified the
intimate connection between conservancy and the encompassing social 
 Jameson extends that perspective by positing that the matrix is
international and involves human behavior within a global context.
Most thinking people see the daunting challenge and too well appreciate 
dystopian future failure guarantees.  Our ecological dilemma was not 
at a single stroke nor is it likely to be solved that way.  The way 
does not spring from the notion that we are shackled to a social
evolutionary pattern that we cannot alter or advance.  By correctly 
the basic issue humanity faces today Jameson has brought a focus and 
that places us firmly on the threshold of understanding. It is time to 
the next steps.

Bill Pierce
Catharpin, VA
wpierce at plexxcomm.net 

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