“Deep Ecology” – Part Two

NB – This continues the ongoing transcription of a 2002 ‘Manifesto for a Democratic Socialist Bermuda’, which I wrote for the purpose of initiating discussion about organising a democratic socialist (DS) Party in Bermuda. I am reproducing it here for it’s historical interest, it’s role in the genesis of this blog itself, and for the purpose of stimulating discussion in the future.

Naturally we cannot return to a complete state of pre-Colombian nature in Bermuda – our sheer population size is sufficient to rule this out. That we can construct our buildings in a more harmonious manner with nature, and replace much of the ‘invasive’ flora and fauna with a more endemic and native complement, is completely within our ability – all without regressing society itself.

That the ability to implement cost-efficient and practical sources of renewable energy systems and ‘Bermudianise’ pir flora and fauna is possible may be proved by hard fact alone. The technology exists on the one hand, and our own experiments with Bermudianisation (namely Nonsuch Island and other select sites) exists on the other.

Although a detailed study of this issue is necessary – modeled after the book ‘Bermuda – A Delicate Balance’ – it is possible to make a few general points on this issue:

Our mangrove ecosystem can be redeveloped, which would bring many benefits to our marine ecosystem as a whole. Castle Harbour can be returned (to a significant degree) to its pre-1940 (US naval base construction) state, with further benefits for Bermuda (in terms of marine resources and tourism).

Our native/endemic flora and fauna can be rejuvenated.

Our building practices can be adapted to become more harmonious with our natural environment.

Not only would these policies bring great benefit to our nature itself, but our own physical welfare (ie. in relation to wind and wave erosion/damage) would be increased; our marine resources would allow us to become more food self-reliant via sustainable exploitation of our rejuvenated fisheries; and our tourism industry would be greatly enhanced.

[It is our perspective that even under global democratic socialism tourism would exist, if not increase.]

Furthermore, though Bermuda may well be a ‘drop in the bucket’ at a global scale, every little drop is of some importance – and as Chaos Theory has demonstrated, even small changes can have large consequences.

There are those who would argue that capitalism and Deep Ecology are wholly compatible. The DS rejects this notion.

All previous history shows us that under capitalism the tendency is towards short-term profit and that while at such and such a time this or that progressive policy is ‘voluntarily’ adopted (read: temporarily profitable, often as a result of heightened environmental consciousness on the part of consumers in reaction to some large-scale environmental disaster), ultimately the market forces become incompatible with ‘progressive’ policies.

When this occurs there can only be one outcome – one of the two must give, and under global capitalism it is the environment that loses out to capital.

A true Deep Ecology platform, as with much of democratic socialism discussed in this manifesto, cannot be realised in Bermuda until worker’s power is achieved in a larger developed nation.

This does not however prevent the DS from achieving much in the way of Deep Ecology, both for Bermuda itself and globally, but also for developing democratic socialism locally and globally.

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