I have been really slow to recognize that the radical changes to climate that threaten survival of life are matched in importance by the severe loss of biodiversity. But when Lauren Van Ham (daughter), climate coordinator with United Religions Initiatives, told me she would be going in December Montreal for Cop15, the UN biodiversity international conference, I began to pay attention.
The Jubilee Forum on December 3, focused on the religious nature of economics. We moved past the assumption that economics is a secular matter, separate from spiritual matters. Here are a few examples of how the religion of economics is manifest:
Economics has a view of human nature. We are consumers making decisions based on cost, prestige, and some greed.
Economics views nature as subordinate to profits. So are people for that matter.
Economics gives attributes of deity to “The Market.” Wrestling with this deity earns one respect and wealth. The Market functions as long as people believe in it.
Have you noticed? We do not contact you at the end of the year asking you to help match a $50,000 donation before December 31. But we do come to you with GRATITUDE FOR ALL YOU’VE GIVEN TO THE MINISTRIES OF ONEEARTH JUBILEE! Add to that our thanks for sharing the desire to live using no more than what God’s good creation offers.
Growth economies face a conundrum: how is continued growth possible on a limited planet? At the end of summer 2022, growth economics had created 2700 billionaires, 720 of them in the U.S. And Credit Suisse tells us in their annual Wealth Report that there are now 62.5 million millionaires. Yet, simultaneously, an open letter signed by at least 238 international and local charities from 75 countries reported 345 million people now experience acute hunger and one dies every four seconds from hunger. Ecologi-cally, the wealthier a person, the greater the damage to the planet (and souls?).
Collapse frightens, destroys. Though full of pain, death, and the unimaginable, it’s never been the last word. Five previous mass extinctions have been followed by Earth’s regeneration. Though it took hundreds of thousands of years, Earth’s regeneration of life proved stronger than collapse.