Biocentric standards for development

It's come down to the line, by the time the UN is publishing documents about the human effect on global warming, its already too late. Check out the New intergovernmental report out yesterday Climate Change 2014:Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability  We built a system that has rewarded extraction and profit as near sighted solutions to improving our experience of the moment, now those moments are running out.

Its time to generate a revolution, not the kind with people bickering in the streets, but the kind that brings us together for global security.  Efforts to address the symptoms of climate change have us chasing disasters with Ikea Tents. The production of the Ikea Tent does more to contribute to environmental degradation and stands to perpetuate aid dependency in relief zones, while increasing plastic waste in affected bioregions.  (With their well funded PR machine behind them, you'll be hard pressed to find dissenting opinions on the web. Well, Im one.)

Solving for the symptom is as common in international policy as it is in personal health, but thats a topic for another blog.

Perhaps its time to revisit the  IPAT equation ( I = P x A x T  where  I=Environmental Impact, P=Population, A=Affluence, T=Technology) 

Maybe this new equation is Biocentric, rather then solving for a (I) Impact which could be positive or negative,  we calculate our inputs to result in (RR) Regional Resilience. Its not like we need to live solely for the birds, though that may not be bad... lets remember that we don't exist without the birds. As a matter of national security it may be time for us to let the gold standard fall for the sake of a global green standard, after all the republic can't stand if the world falls around it.

Rumor has it that indigenous communities lived like this once,  balanced in their bioregional interdependence. So pull up a chair and lets listen to the voices of our grandmothers and perhaps we can create new biocentric standards for development.

Kevin Rowell

Co-author of the book "Preserving Haiti's Gingerbread Houses"  and owner of the The Natural Builders, works as a consultant for development agencies and emerging technology companies when he's not building things.