Book of the Day: Green Governance, Human Rights, and the Commons

* Book: Green Governance: Ecological Survival, Human Rights, and the Commons. By Weston H. Burns and David Bollier. Cambridge University Press, 2013

The case for green governance, an excerpt from the introduction:

“If the human species is to overcome the many interconnected ecological catastrophes now confronting us, this moment in history requires that we entertain some bold modifications of our legal structures and political culture. We must find the means to introduce new ideas for effective and just environmental protection?locally, nationally, regionally, globally and points in between.

It is our premise that human societies will not succeed in overcoming our myriad eco-crises through better “green technology” or economic reforms alone; we must pioneer new types of governance that allow and encourage people to move from anthropocentrism to biocentrism, and to develop qualitatively different types of relationships with nature itself and, indeed, with each other. An economics and supporting civic polity that valorizes growth and material development as the precondition for virtually everything else is ultimately a dead end?literally.

Achieving a clean, healthy and ecologically balanced environment requires that we cultivate a practical governance paradigm based on, first, a logic of respect for nature, sufficiency, interdependence, shared responsibility and fairness among all human beings; and second, an ethic of integrated global and local citizenship that insists upon transparency and accountability in all activities affecting the integrity of the environment.

We believe that commons- and rights-based ecological governance can fulfill this logic and ethic. Properly done, it can move us beyond the neoliberal State and Market alliance?what we call the “State/Market”?which is chiefly responsible for the current, failed paradigm of ecological governance.”

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