Here, have a delightful clip from Russell Brand’s podcast Under the Skin where he talks with Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics about the impact of a reductive climate change narrative, power dynamics, and moving away from the qualitative mindset [the economic metanarrative] and being initiated into a new kind of relationship with Earth [such as a community metanarrative in which all life systems are recognized as alive and possessing inherent value.]
Also, have some miscellaneous commentary and reactions, from me, a ridiculous fangirl of both of these wise hearts and fine minds:
02:02: I ferociously adore that tattoo.
Here’s to a society in which we are more inclined to appreciate and delight in the variety of expressions of the divine and in which the exploration of different spiritual paths has been normalized, rather than seeing/using organized religion as a tool for “othering” and whatnot. (Because at the heart of things, there is no them.)
02:08: The baby I held at the blueberry farm when the Eisenstein family came to visit is a five year old. That’s.. so odd. Time is zany, man.
02:18: “a reductionism that also has us has us reduce the living complexity to a single cause” YES!! THANK YOU. Yes!
We have a monoculture of myth in our society. Our attention/entertainment industry is designed in a way that continues to amplify this, to the detriment of our collective ability to conceive of anything different, much less envision better (or even arguably, more realistic given the kinds of resources we have that have never before existed in human history.)
Although cracks have been forming and light has been pouring through in the form of transformative narratives like Moana, The Book of Life, etc. It’s kind of beautiful that kids’ movies are leading the way. Something something metaphor.
Russell: “What advantage does the climate change narrative give the powerful that is not in the deforestation and habitat destruction narrative in order for the climate change narrative to be favored?”
Charles: “It lends itself to quantitative solutions that you can make money off of.”
03:55: THIS. This this this THIS. (Say it with me, kids: read Doughnut Economics)
“The numbers look good. The metrics look good. But what’s happening on the ground is subsistence peasants are being forced out of their traditional lifestyles, pristine ecosystems are being leveled to plant fast-growing trees, communal land holdings are being converted into titled property, indigenous people are getting evicted from their land. When things get monetized and reduced to a number, the things that you cannot reduce to a number get left out.”
05:59: ALL OF THIS. “..the alternative narrative that I like to work with which is the living Earth narrative, which says that Earth is alive. That its health depends on the health of its organs and tissues. And what are those?
Those are the forests, the wetlands, the seagrass meadows, the mangroves, the elephants, the whales, the fish, the corals, everything that is destroyed by development is necessary.
If you are in the carbon mind frame, then even if you value a forest for its carbon storage and sequestration, once you’ve reduced it to that number, you could cut it down if there’s, say, gold to mine underneath it or oil, and plant another forest somewhere else to make up for it.
Because it’s just the numbers, right? Or you could cut it down but install lots of solar panels to offset that carbon.
We’re not treating Earth as alive, and precious and sacred, by operating in that quantitative mindset.
And I don’t think that’s a big enough revolution. We are being initiated into a new kind of relationship to Earth. Not initiated into ‘let’s be a little bit more clever in working the numbers.’”