Individual Paper: From environmental to ecological law
Overcoming the remote ownership problem and other key challenges
Thomas Berry's powerful appeal for a mutually enhancing human-Earth relationship, in his 1999 book "The Great Work", faces many challenges due to the ecological crisis that is co-identified with dominant growth-insistent and technologically delusional economic, political and legal systems across the world. The domains of environmental history, ecological restoration and eco-cultural restoration, as well as studies by Elinor Ostrom and others of sustainable use of common pool resources, provide insights on the necessary conditions for a mutually enhancing human-Earth relationship. A theme common to these domains is the need for intimate knowledge of and connection to place that requires a long-standing commitment of people to the ecosystems that sustain them. Remote private ownership, often by large and politically powerful multinational corporations financed by investors seeking the highest possible returns and lacking knowledge or interest in the places and people they harm, is deeply engrained in the trade and finance regime that dominates the global economic system. The historical roots of remote ownership and control go back to the emergence of extensive colonialism and long-distance trade in the early modern era. Yet, remote owners' and investors' detachment from place poses an enormous challenge in the quest for a mutually enhancing human-Earth relationship. This presentation analyzes the problem of remote ownership and considers how limits-insistent ecological law provides solutions. In particular, a systems-based assessment tool is presented for discursive, dialogical approaches to understanding how best to identify the best leverage points for overcoming the hard-wired and extremely resistant forces underlying the remote ownership problem.
Start time: 11:30
Room: Nöjesteatern (Piano bar)
Track: Degrowth: Culture, Power and Change