Category Archives: History

The wisdom of Robert Owen

Robert Owen, pioneer socialist and co-operator (and ethical entrepreneur):

Nature requires its own time to mature all things, whether mineral, vegetable, animal or mind and spirit.

– topical as we zoom past the safe operating margins for life on this planet.  It expresses three key rules of ecological economics:
2. Extract renewable resources like fish and timber at a rate no faster than they can be regenerated.
3. Consume non-renewable resources like fossil fuels and minerals at a rate no faster than they can be replaced by the discovery of renewable substitutes.
4. Deposit wastes in the environment at a rate no faster than they can be safely assimilated.
(number 1 is : Maintain the health of ecosystems and the life-support services they provide.)

and Owen again:-

The ever changing scenes of nature afford not only the most economical, but also the most innocent pleasures that man can enjoy.

– which recalls the buen vivir, or good living principles of the Andean indigenous movement.

Thanks to “Scottish Nature Boy” whose blog has photos of plaques with these quotations there: )