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opinion

Green Capital: the value of natural economics

Satish Kumar

Satish Kumar

Resurgence & Ecologist editor-in-chief, Satish Kumar, on Bristol’s year as European Green Capital.

Bristol has earned the well-deserved title of Green Capital of Europe which is a great inspiration not only for the citizens of Bristol but also to those of other cities. As Bristol leads the way in the direction of sustainability, other cities can also emulate Bristol’s example.

I have been associated with Bristol since the 1970s when I initiated a long running series of Schumacher Lectures, which were sponsored by Triodos Bank, sharing the wisdom of the many leading environmental thinkers and activists from the around the world we invited to present their ideas. The audiences filled the Coulston Hall, Victoria Rooms and the Old Council House.

“Economic growth for its own sake has no meaning, it must serve the purpose of community cohesion, human happiness, clean environment and enhanced cultural life.”

Satish Kumar, Editor-in-Chief, Resurgence & Ecologist

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol Green Capital 2015

Clifton Suspension Bridge goes green for the launch of Bristol 2015. Photo: © JonCraig.co.uk

During the last 30 years Bristol has increasingly embraced a way of life featuring organic food, farmers markets, urban farming, green investment, renewable energy and elegant simplicity which has resulted in electing a mayor who is committed to an ecological world view and green future for humanity.

The Bristol Pound is an outstanding expression of valuing local economy underpinned by a vision which addresses pressing problems of our time such as global warming and climate change. For the citizens of Bristol nature is not merely a resource for the economy, nature is a source of life. Therefore Bristolians are recognising that nature is not only for the benefit of humankind but that it also has its own intrinsic value, and humankind must respect nature and live in harmony with her rather than exploit her for the blind pursuit of gaining profit.

 Money is not wealth, money is only a measure of wealth, real wealth is flourishing forests, pure flowing water, living soil, clean environment and human skills to make, build and produce.

Satish Kumar, Editor-in-Chief, Resurgence & Ecologist

Satish Kumar, Editor-in-Chief, Resurgence & Ecologist

More and more historians are shifting their focus from economic growth to the growth in wellbeing. Economic growth for its own sake has no meaning, it must serve the purpose of community cohesion, human happiness, clean environment and enhanced cultural life.

As a Green Capital, Bristol recognises the fact that a financial capital should be in the service of maintaining, safeguarding and enhancing the natural capital. Money is not wealth, money is only a measure of wealth, real wealth is flourishing forests, pure flowing water, living soil, clean environment and human skills to make, build and produce. If the natural capital is depleted and human skills are diminished then what use is the accumulated financial capital?

The challenge for the Green Capital of Bristol is to honour the green capital of nature and the green capital of human imagination, talent and skills. This is proper economics which stands on the three pillars of land, labour and capital. Land is the natural capital, labour is the human capital and capital is the financial capital. These three kinds of capital working together will make Bristol an exemplary Green Capital of Europe.

Satish Kumar

CV
Satish Kumar

Satish Kumar is the Editor-in-Chief of ‘Resurgence & Ecologist’ magazine which for 50 years has been the flagship magazine for the Green movement offering cutting edge ideas and inspiration for a more sustainable future. A former monk and long-term peace and environment activist, Satish Kumar has been quietly setting the Global Agenda for change for over 50 years. In 1973 Satish settled in the United Kingdom taking up the post of editor of Resurgence magazine, a position he has held ever since, making him the UK’s longest-serving editor of the same magazine. During this time, he has been the guiding spirit behind a number of now internationally-respected ecological and educational ventures including Schumacher College in South Devon where he is still a Visiting Fellow. Satish is on the Advisory Board of Our Future Planet, a unique online community sharing ideas for real change and in recognition of his commitment to animal welfare and compassionate living, he was recently elected vice-president with the RSPCA.

 

Take out a membership subscription for ‘Resurgence & Ecologist’ and you can support the educational work of The Resurgence Trust, the charity which publishes the magazine and promotes ecological sustainability, social justice and spiritual values.

For more information visit: www.resurgence.org / www.theecologist.org

 

 

 

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