Economics and ecology are words built on the same root – ‘eco’ – from the Greek word ‘oikos’ meaning home. Ecology is the study of home. Economics is the management of home. What ecologists try to do is to determine the conditions and principles that govern life’s ability to flourish and survive. Now I would have thought any other group in society would want the ecologists to hurry up and find out exactly what those conditions and principles are, so that we can design our systems to live within them. But not economists. We have elevated the economy above everything else and this, I think, is the crisis we face. The economic system that has been foisted on people around the world is so fundamentally flawed that it is inevitably destructive. We must put the ‘eco’ back into economics and realise what the conditions and principles are for true sustainable living.
Extracted from the transcript of a lecture by David Suzuki entitled : “The Challenge of the 21st Century : Setting the Real Bottom Line.”
Professor David Suzuki is Emeritus Professor of the Sustainable Development Research Institute at the University of British Columbia and Co-Founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.