Scarcity or Abundance?
Scarcity or Abundance?
Presented by John Modra at the ISCAST Vic Intensive 2010
John Modra is a graduate of Agricultural Science at Melbourne University with post-graduate training in geoscience. John spent over 33 years providing independent environmental risk management advice to property investors, Shire/State Government planners and farmers.
How do we proclaim the abundant life in the face of scarcity? Is it possible to unpick the elements of unsustainability in the way we use the earth, and then do something positive to change the situation? Can anything good come out of our Western Heritage? How should we objectively view the relationship between exploitation, economics (oikonomia, chresmatistics) and environment? Are there any real brakes on the drivers of need, speed and greed?
This paper will explore a positive response to these questions by looking at how our own particular worldview has worked to balance tensions in the management of land and land use, in particular.
The city worries about sustainability because, within the confines of its two column ledger world, it would have nothing within a few days of supply failure. The educational paradigm of the city makes the majority of modern urban cultures very vulnerable to fear and fanaticism on environmental issues. The country, on the other hand, is not in such a panic and neither is Scripture - and for good reason.
By recognising the reality of elastic strength within the solid structure of the created order, I hope to demonstrate that we can all continue to look forward to both scarcity and abundance by applying science and big picture thinking to the questions of living within limits. Confidence in these complex matters can and should be based on a commitment to the sort of objective scientific assessment outlined in the appendix1 and its application to planning and public administration in a sensitive, but not sentimental, manner.
As resident aliens, I suggest we rest briefly to reflect and enjoy our unsteady but safe homes in resilience land, just as our forefathers in the faith have always done before us.
1 Science summary table is listed in Appendix 1 “Capability to Sustainability guidelines”
Download pdf - Presentation Notes