The Good Life quotes

Here are a few quotes taken from Do Good Lives Have to Cost the Earth

There is plenty of evidence to show that the rich could lower their levels of consumerism, freeing up ‘environmental space’ for the poor in which to develop, without the rich undermining their own subjective well-being. Most people in wealthy countries are already far beyond the point where there is any relationship between their earnings and their life satisfaction. (Andrew Simms and Joe Smith – editors Do Good Lives Have to Cost the Earth ?)

The peril that humanity faces, and the planet we live on, is urgent and dire. But we are now waking up, and there is a long and honourable tradition before our time which we can draw on – even learn from. We don’t have to work out everything afresh, and we are not alone. (David Boyle – author of Authenticity and The Tyranny of Numbers)

Why are we here ? What is here, what does it consist of ? What have we got to do now we are here ? What responsibilities does being conscious place on us ? ….those are questions which the environmental movement, over the past twenty-five years, has been very much engaged in. What does it mean to us to be conscious of what we are doing to the world ? (Philip Pullman, story-teller, from Do Good Lives Have to Cost the Earth ?)

In a way you could say there is nothing wrong with poverty, as long as there is a way out of it, as long as people can climb out of it. But in order to climb out of it, to gain some kind of social mobility, you need to create the kind of culture that helps build self-esteem and provides the necessary training. (John Bird – founder of The Big Issue magazine for the homeless)

At the global level, the growing population, on average increasingly rich, is imposing an unsustainable burden on the world’s environment. Increasing demands for fresh water are destroying fragile ecosystems and in some cases threaten conflict between nations. The biodiversity of the planet is being eroded at an alarming rate. Man-made greenhouse emissions are changing the world’s climate, with uncertain but potentially very harmful results. Prosperity itself indeed destroys some of the things that more prosperous people increasingly value. Once our basic needs are met, we increasingly value natural beauty and the tranquillity of unspoilt countryside, but rising prosperity and increasing population growth gradually destroy them.

Dethroning the maximisation of measured GDP as an end in itself is particularly important in relation to the two greatest and interrelated environmental challenges – climate change and population growth.

(Adair Turner – ex head of the Confederation for British Industry, now non-executive director of Standard Chartered Bank)

…providing for vital human needs requires another kind of economy altogether, which emphasises beauty, community and creativity. (Dame Anita Roddick – founder of The Body Shop)

…we live in a global economy the worships the god Money – a god that, like so many other fearsome and destructive gods remains mysterious, mesmerizing, mercurial and magical. And the more destructive the god of money, the more obeisant humanity seems to become.. (Ann Pettifor – author of The Coming First World Debt Crisis)

Centre for Environmental Living and Training,

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