Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Wise Words: Defenders of Reality

We have the kind of economy we have, and we do the kind of science that we do, for all kinds of reasons, including those of history. But the main reason in the end is that we just don’t care enough. We do not get angry enough when we see animals, or indeed people, treated badly, or when forest is swept aside. Those who do protest are commonly derided as ‘greenies’. They are perceived to be in the way of economic progress, and so to be ‘unrealistic’. Yet they are the defenders of reality: the real realities of landscapes and of living creatures. It’s the present economy, that recognizes no limits to financial growth that is unrealistic. 

(Colin Tudge, The Secret Life of Birds: Who They Are and What They Do. Penguin: London, 2008, pp. 449–450)


Our economic models are projections and arrows when they should be circles. To define perpetual growth on a finite planet as the sole measure of economic well-being is to engage in a form of slow collective suicide. To deny or exclude from the calculus of governance and economy the costs of violating the biological support systems of life is the logic of delusion.

(Wade Davis, The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World, UWA Publishing: Crawley, Western Australia, 2009, p. 217)


  1. I agree wholeheartedly with both of these analyses. Our nations' destructive ways of being and systems put money at the center. Instead they should place humans, animals and the planet at the center, as did sustainable human societies for millennia.

  2. oh, yes, yes to this. and the sooner we all recognise the extent of the error and move to correct it, the better.


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