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25th July 2008

Act Locally to Address Global Issues

by Satish Kumar
Satish Kumar
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Act Locally to Address Global Issues

25th July 2008

I have been editor of Resurgence magazine for over 35 years. Resurgence was the UK’s first magazine to focus on environmental issues – that was 42 years ago and we’re still going strong. Back in the 1970’s one of our regular writers was E. F. Schumacher who coined the idea of ‘Small is beautiful’. This was a time when the dominant ideology was ‘the bigger the better’. Large institutions, multinational corporations, industrial mergers, unlimited economic growth and ever-increasing consumption were considered symbols of progress.

A trip to Burma in 1955 was to prove an important eye opener. Schumacher was supposed to introduce the Western model of economic growth in order to raise the living standards of the Burmese people. But he found that they did not need the Western idea of economic development. They already had an indigenous economic system well suited to their conditions, culture and climate. Schumacher then wrote his well known essay, ‘Buddhist Economics’, where he suggested that we should move away from the idea of global economics and, instead, produce, consume and organise as locally as possible, which inevitably meant on a smaller scale.

As in economics, so in politics: Schumacher believed in small nations, small communities and small organisations. Schumacher’s ideology ‘Small is beautiful’ has heavily influenced our new initiative Resurgence Slow Sunday which launches this weekend.

We may have ‘global’ warming, but we have the power to address this locally. For Resurgence Slow Sunday we are inviting you to join together in your homes and in your local communities to perform small acts that symbolise a rejection of commercialism, a passion for the planet and a desire for change. By many people joining together making small changes in our own immediate environments, we can start to address issues on a global scale. Small is beautiful but is it also powerful. If enough of us join together and act locally, we have the power to change things on a global scale.

Please join us this weekend for our first Resurgence Slow Sunday where we are inviting you to bake bread to save the planet.

To find out more about Resurgence Slow Sunday go to www.resurgence.org/trust/slow-sunday.html

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