Gross Ecosystem Product

Every moment, every day, even when you are dozing, or half-asleep making your breakfast thinking about how you’re going to be productive, nature is working, and producing. We don’t think much about it, we don’t realise how much work gets done by nature itself – yet when we harness the work, the energy from nature, we credit it to ourselves. Worst still, we frequently undermine nature’s self-corrective work that keeps things in balance.

Gretchen Daily’s work thus fascinates me to no end. It combines 2 of my deep intellectual passions: sustainability, and economics. We need to stop thinking of creating ‘safe havens’ for nature the way we think about gardens by our home. We need to learn to live in the forest, to integrate so many more elements of nature into our economy and integrate them. I thought the philosophy of permaculture is interesting and a potentially important component to a vision of such an economy.

Like I mentioned before, it is not a single material like plastics, or crude oil, or cotton tote bags for that matter that is damaging the earth. It is the mass production and consumption of it beyond what we actually really need for our purposes. It is the wastefulness, supported by a market economy and capitalistic society that places value on things that goes through the cycle of the economy rather than the cycle of the ecosystem. Our ecosystems are circular by nature; but our economy are unidirectional at least until we put more effort into making them circular.