As I mention in the book, I had been working in the field of energy efficiency for a few years when I realized that we won’t solve our environmental problems solely through technological improvements.
This is when I had the idea to delve into the lives of peoples who lived very close to nature. This is also when I learned about United Nations’ “Harmony with Nature”. This program was initiated in 2009 when the United Nations realized that living in harmony with nature had to be promoted in order to satisfy the needs of present and future generations.
Indigenous peoples have traditionally considered themselves as being an inherent part of nature; consequently, their worldview is Earth-Centered. This is diametrically opposed to the actual prominent anthropocentric (or man-centered) worldview.
In “Nudge for the Planet”, I introduce in a very simplified manner a few principles of life of some indigenous peoples, such as the practice of gratitude, reciprocity, sufficiency (the opposite of accumulation), and the concept of the seven generations. The relation with nature of these peoples is however much deeper than what I expose in the book.
For anyone interested in digging further into the worldviews of indigenous peoples, I recommend reading the references mentioned in the book, namely “The Time of the Black Jaguar” by Arkan Lushwala, and “Original Instructions” by Melissa K. Nelson, but also “Sacred Instructions”, a book by Sherri Mitchell.
As you start exploring the fundamentals behind an Earth-Centered worldview, you will find similarities between the mentalities of some indigeneous peoples of the Americas and of other ancient civilizations who practiced mindfulness.
Rights of Nature
Many concerned individuals and organizations have decided to use law differently from how it has been used in the last few hundred years, as a means to protect the Earth.
They have thought of a legal approach now known as the “Rights of Nature”. The objective behind this approach is to grant nature the right to exist, thrive and evolve. Under the actual laws of many countries, animals and nature are considered “objects” or “property”, whereas corporations are granted legal personhood. The idea behind Rights of Nature is to restore the power relationship between corporations and nature, and between man and nature, so that nature can stand a chance to be defended.
The Harmony with Nature website is a good source for anyone wishing to learn more about Rights of Nature and its recent developments. Many lawyers advocating for the Rights of Nature are part of Harmony with Nature’s Knowledge Network. Their main publications can also be found on that website.