Faith, Economy, Ecology Working Group
We are a religious working group working toward policy reform and paradigm shift in Washington, DC. As people of faith living predominantly in the Northern Hemisphere, we have long worked side-by-side with people of the South to raise awareness of the negative impact of predominant global international debt and trade systems now in use. We live in a world addicted to “economic growth” and watch as this unsustainable addiction ravages Earth’s resources, extinguishes habitats and living species, banishes entire human communities to live in poverty, and leaves future generations and the planet with enormous ecological and financial debt.
We stand as witnesses to the destructive power of an economic model that ignores Earth’s limits and its needs to rest and regenerate, claiming illusory growth as a measure of success while Earth’s resources and living entities perish. We mourn the loss of cultures, people, species and traditional knowledge that are fervently pushed aside as the neoclassical economic world view asserts its autonomy everywhere. We deplore the rampant militarization which perpetuates and is necessitated by the industrial growth society.
Grounded in our faith and speaking from our core principles and values, we call on people of good will to join us in reexamining the false panacea of growth-oriented development models.
There are many advocacy groups and grass roots organizations that will be rallying around the G20 Summit (gathering of major economies) in Pittsburg and at the UNFCCC (climate change negotiations) in Copenhagen. These groups are lifting up human rights concerns and the need for sustainable systems that prevent further ecological destruction. Our group would like to draw attention to how the relentless pursuit of economic growth is the stumbling block to any real progress in the areas of peace, justice and sustainability. We are looking to draw focus and educate the NGO community about the need to bring economic analysis into their justice work and speak to the ways that our present economic system is the driving force behind climate change, inequality, poverty, violence, loss of biodiversity, and resource depletion.
Our concept for the image is an Earth with a spigot or tap on it that is pouring natural resources into a bulging bag with GDP and a dollar sign on it. The resources could be forest growth, fish, minerals, maybe even humans. The image is accompanied by the word "ENOUGH..." It will end up on a 4 X 6 postcard, with our own message on the back.
The Earth is being drained of it’s vitality, and it should be shown in a dynamic active movement that shows the relationship between the North's prosperity and the South's poverty. The southern hemisphere is devastated as forests are removed, extractive industries pollute the region, water is contaminated, landfills grow out of control and farm land becomes dessert. The northern hemisphere is overly developed, with skyscrapers and monoculture farms. Is there a way to show this movement? As if the draw of the tap drives this disproportionate development like a drain pulls water out of the sink.
The Earth should not appear totally wasted. There are still some thriving ecosystem intact. Though we should get the feeling that the Earth is in danger of being tapped out!
This image needs to be clear, not too cluttered. It is showing a harsh and painful reality and needs to not overdo or glamorize this image. It will be accompanied by a message that invites change. The tap is the leveraging point wher we can intervene in the system.