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A brief overview of the book "Ecosociocentrism: The Earth First Paradigm for Sustainable Living".

Updated: May 2


Ecosociocentrism: The Earth First Paradigm for Sustainable Living.


Background


This book is the culmination of over three decades of reflection, engagement, and an enduring quest for a meaningful understanding of our complex relationship with our environment and Nature. This journey began in the 1990s, marked by a global awakening toward environmental conserva­tion and sustainable development. For the first time, these concepts became the focal point of development discourses among professionals, planners, and institutions involved in shaping pol­icy across the globe. Significantly, this was also the era of Our Common Future, the pivotal Brundtland World Commission Report on Environment and Development (WCED) published in 1987. The report was the first to offer an official, albeit inade­quate, definition of sustainable development, which subsequently informed policy directives in nations worldwide. In this era, the environment earned its rightful place within the development policy framework of nations, spawning a movement that continues to this day. The mantra of sustainable development has since echoed in every corner of national and international forums and discourses, from development experts to politicians. Following my rigorous immersion in the Our Common Future report and the previously published Limits to Growth report by MIT professor D.H. Meadow’s team, I was intrigued by a glaring discrepancy. Ever since sustainable develop­ment emerged as the touted model for progress, it became apparent to me that the model failed to embrace the foundational ecological principles that underpin genu­ine environmental sustainability. This revelation made it clear that sustainable development, in many ways, was a sophisticated reframing of the existing neoliberal growth model, masked by its appealing novelty.


Over the last 50 years of the Anthropocene epoch, the current growth economic paradigm has succeeded on two fronts: a relentless, unsustainable extraction of Earth’s resources to feed the insatiable appetite for growth and the promotion of ecologically hostile consumer­ism as a means to perpetuate corporate wealth accumulation. This model’s egre­gious consequences are far-reaching, ravaging the health and integrity of Earth’s systems with an alarming ferocity. The devastating fallout from this model is manifested in the catastrophic breakdown of planetary ecosystems, rapidly accelerating climate change, the extinction and annihilation of millions of species, ocean acidification, destruction of the coral reef ecosystem, toxic pollution, and the desertification of previously fertile lands, rapid deglaciation of Hindu Kush Himalaya and Antarctica. The continuity of Homo sapiens and Earth’s living system now hangs in the balance under an increasingly ominous cloud of uncertainty.


We live in a critical period in Earth’s history, in which humanity’s impact on the environment has escalated to a scale that is impacting not only the health and vitality of the planet but also the existential threat to the entire living system, including our own. This crisis can no longer be addressed solely through technological advancements or cosmetic policy changes of the nation-states. A fundamental shift in human collective consciousness and behavioral patterns is required—a shift that allows us to view the environment not as a separate entity but as an integral organic part of ourselves and of all life. It behooves that Earth’s systems be maintained functionally healthy and resilient to continuously generate ecological goods and services across multiple generations for sustainable living. We agree that humanity’s destiny is indispensably intertwined with a functionally healthy planet. This fact forms this book's crux: to secure our collective future, we must first ensure a functionally resilient and healthy planet. Ecosociocentrism: The Earth First Paradigm for Sustainable Living calls for a radical change in our development model and thinking, seeking a viable path for sustainable living on planet Earth. This journey requires an ecological wisdom empowered human consciousness for cultural change.  


Introduction


Throughout the entirety of this book, a comprehensive exploration revolves around the fundamental principles and concepts of diversity, ecosystem health, interconnectedness, interdependence, and autopoiesis or self-organizational property of living systems, emphasizing their pivotal role in maintaining the functionality of Earth's intricate systems and the corresponding human socio-economic subsystem. The book comprises 13 chapters, organized in a coherent sequence where each preceding chapter establishes the foundation for the subsequent one. The final chapter (13) synthesizes the previous 12 chapters. Building upon the 12 preceding chapters, chapter 13 proposes a new paradigm called Ecosociocentrism: The Earth First Paradigm for Sustainable Living,which is the title of this book.


The word paradigm’ became popular when Thomas Khun first used it in his seminal book ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolution,’ published in 1969. Ever since, it has been massively used, very often, misused, abused, and overused in scientific and development discourses.  For the same reason, my usage of this term is susceptible to criticism in this book.  However, a paradigm is a constellation of belief systems, methods, and assumptions within the framework of which we perceive, observe, analyze, and interpret worldly phenomena around us. In other words, it is the worldview of our perception, conceptualization, and interpretation of the phenomenological world (both social and natural). Therefore, the title of the book “Ecosociocentrism: The Earth First Paradigm,” which I have proposed, attempts to provide the metaphysical foundation for instrumental, relational, and intrinsic values associated with diversity, ecosystem health, interconnectedness, interdependence, autopoiesis, which form the basis for envi­ronmental and social sustainability.


While the term Ecosociocentrism does not currently exist in English dictionaries, it is a potent term I have coined by the fusion of two seemingly opposite concepts: Ecocentrism and Sociocentrism.” These two concepts, Ecocentrism and Sociocentrism, apparently represent the opposite value systems, namely ecocentric (deep ecology) and sociocentric (anthropocentric) values. Ecocentrism embodies the values of the ecosphere (sphere of Nature), and Sociocentrism embodies the values of the social sphere (sphere of human society). Ecosociocentrism has been proposed to reconcile the apparent gap between the ecocentric values in the ecosphere and sociocentric values in the sociosphere, two domains often considered at odds. Therefore, Ecosociocentrism symbolizes a harmonious synthesis of these two opposite tendencies and postulates that these seemingly opposite tendencies can coexist in a symbiotic relationship (symbiosis) rather than a stark negation. I have used the ecosphere to denote the planetary ecosystem or Earth’s system and the sociosphere to denote the human social-economic-technological subsystem.

 

Book chapters


Chapter 1. Ecological Variables and Emerging Concepts in Ecology


Chapter 1 analyzes the fundamental ecological variables - matter, energy, space, time, and diversity whose interplay and interactions govern all ecological phenomena and determine the behavior of ecological systems.


The chapter introduces some emerging ecological concepts advanced by eminent ecologists, which enhance our understanding of ecological systems and behavior, ultimately contributing to their protection, conservation, and sustainable uses.

 

Chapter 2:  Importance of Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Ecosystem Services


This chapter explores the importance of biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecosystem services for human survival, highlighting the necessity to preserve these natural systems and ensure their continued healthy functionality.


The chapter brings a critical perspective on how the current economic system values only the market-driven instrumental use values, neglecting the integral life support ecological services and the intrinsic values of the living system in Nature.


Chapter 3: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Destruction


The chapter critically examines environmental destruction and degradation, identifying ecologically detrimental consumption and production patterns in wealthier, industrialized countries and population pressure, poverty, and inequitable development in developing nations as the key forces of environmental destruction.


The chapter concludes that environmental conservation strategies will fail if adequate cultural, socio-economic, and political measures are not implemented to shift current production and consumption patterns and alleviate human poverty.


Chapter 4: Understanding Ecosystem Evolution and Behavior


This chapter explores the fundamental principles underpinning ecosystem evolution, examining the dynamic processes that have shaped biodiversity and ecosystem development over time.


Drawing from biological, evolutionary, and ecological sciences, the chapter outlines the foundational principles of ecosystem evolution, including natural selection, ecosystem succession, coevolution, diversity and stability, interconnectedness, interdependence, mutualism, and system complexity.


The chapter attempts to provide a profound understanding of these principles and theories to inform future ecosystem protection, preservation, and biodiversity management efforts.


Chapter 5:  Autopoiesis, Organizational Complexity, and Ecosystem Health


This chapter brings perspectives on how autopoiesis, or the self-organizing property of the living system, is the basis for the emergence of a complex form of ecosystem processes and structure in the biosphere.


Autopoiesis provides the fundamental basis for the system view of life, and ecosystems can be conceived as autopoietic systems that sustain themselves via feedback and homeostatic responses to shifting environmental conditions.


The notion of ecosystem health encapsulates the capacity for resilience, self-organization, and the preservation of the ecosystem's functional integrity over time, and this understanding of the concept of autopoiesis, ecosystem health, and their implications for human health and the living system is imperative for nature conservation and sustainable living.


Chapter 6: Satisfaction of Human Needs and Environmental Sustainability


Chapter six explores the challenge of aligning human needs with nature conservation and sustainable development, emphasizing the significant influence of basic human needs on human behavior. It draws from Maslow's hierarchy of needs and highlights the reliance of these needs on ecosystem services.


It underscores that the current economic model, characterized by unlimited growth and excessive consumption, is unsustainable and calls for a value-based development model that prioritizes ecosystem health and operates within the planet's regenerative capacity.


The chapter advocates for integrating natural capital and ecosystem services into decision-making processes, the need for global consensus on sustainable production and consumption, and the concept of a steady-state and regenerative economy to ensure the long-term sustainability of the planetary ecosystem.


Chapter 7: Climate Change and Its Threat to Humanity in Anthropocene


This chapter identifies Climate change as a defining crisis of the Anthropocene era, with massive impacts on human and Earth systems.


The chapter criticizes fossil fuel industries for accelerating global warming, pushing Earth's systems to potentially irreversible extremes, and applauds investigative journalists and scholars for their efforts in holding fossil fuel industries accountable and promoting stricter adherence to environmental laws.


The chapter recommends urgent and concerted actions involving politicians, corporate leaders, and development professionals to implement scientific recommendations to mitigate global warming and climate change.


The chapter underscores the need for a paradigm shift and advocates for replacing ecologically hostile cultural superstructures with new ones grounded in ecological wisdom, integrating ecology and political economy as a viable solution for reconnecting humanity with Nature and fostering an "ecological civilization."


Chapter 8: Valuation of Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, and Natural Capital


The chapter critiques current economic approaches to valuing biodiversity, ecosystem services, and natural capital, highlighting their role in environmental destruction and threats to human existence.


The chapter advocates for a shift in economic valuation systems, emphasizing the value of healthy natural ecosystems and argues for the comprehensive valuation of entire ecosystems, recognizing their potential to provide goods and services crucial for human well-being and happiness.


The chapter underscores the urgency of interdisciplinary collaboration, among experts in ecology, biology, agriculture, and economics, to develop valuation techniques that integrate instrumental, relational, and intrinsic values of biodiversity and ecosystems.


Chapter 9: Metaphysics of Dominant Development Paradigm and Its Critique


The chapter critically examines the metaphysical foundation of the dominant development paradigm rooted in Rene Descartes' philosophy of modern science propelled by neoclassical economics, highlighting its view of Nature as an entity to be mastered, controlled, and exploited, a major driving factor of contemporary ecological crises, such as climate change, species extinction, and ecosystem degradation and destruction.


The chapter argues for a fundamental shift in our relationship with nature, emphasizing recognition of nature's intrinsic values that are essential for the sustainability of living systems, calling for ecological wisdom-based science and technology to restore and reconstruct damaged planetary ecosystems.


The chapter underscores the critical role of values in the development model and argues that without reevaluating assumptions of the current economic growth model and incorporating ecological facts and values, both socio-economic and planetary ecosystems will face crises.


Chapter 10: Environmental Ethics, Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development


The chapter underscores the crucial role of environmental ethics in the context of sustainable development and nature conservation and critically examines the need for a fundamental shift in our development approach, advocating for pragmatic development ethics rooted in the preservation and conservation of Nature and the fulfillment of basic human needs.


The chapter explores sustainable development through a multidimensional lens, compassing ecological, social, economic, cultural, and ethical systems critiquing the overuse of the term "sustainable development," often masking the persistence of the neoliberal growth model with minor cosmetic changes.


The chapter highlights the evolution of the sustainable development concept since "Our Common Future" was published in 1987, emphasizing the need for profound transformations.


The chapter argues to reconceptualize sustainable development and proposes five principles, the implementation of which driven by political commitment can achieve sustainable development goals fostering an eco-civilization rooted in social justice and environmental sustainability.


Chapter 11: Buddhism, Gaia, and System Theory on Environmentalism


Buddhism, Gaia, and System Theory share a common foundation of interconnectedness and interdependence, emphasizing the need for a harmonious relationship with Nature.


They collectively provide a framework for developing coherent environmental ethics, with Buddhism's principles of Dependent Co-origination (Pratītyasamutpāda), compassion, and reverence for life complementing Gaia and System Theory's emphasis on the interconnectedness and interdependence of living systems.


These perspectives highlight the interconnectedness of all elements in Nature and offer potential solutions to address current environmental crises driven by an egocentric perception of humanity's relationship with Nature, instilling an ecological worldview, guiding humanity toward sustainable living and coexistence with other living systems on planet Earth.


Chapter 12: Power of Collective Human Consciousness


This chapter explores the potential of human Collective Consciousness to drive positive changes in individual behavior, political institutions, and power structures, ultimately leading to ecological sustainability and equity on a global scale. 


It highlights the need for the emergence of informed and environmentally conscious political leaders who prioritize the essential needs of all, as opposed to corporate and their self-interests, to safeguard the regenerative capacity of the planetary ecosystem.


The cultivation of an ecological consciousness that integrates the ecosphere and sociosphere can ultimately give rise to an ecological civilization, forming the foundation for a sustainable living and equitable global society.


 

Chapter 13. Ecosociocentrism: The Earth First Paradigm for Sustainable Living.


Why a new paradigm?


As I have mentioned in the beginning, this final chapter of the book advocates the necessity of a new paradigm that recognizes and embraces the values of diversity, ecosystem health, interconnectedness, interdependence, and autopoiesis or self-organizational property of the living system to maintain the functional integrity of both Earth's systems and human socio-economic subsystems. Chapter 13 serves as a synthesis of the preceding chapters and introduces the new paradigm titled "Ecosociocentrism: The Earth First Paradigm for Sustainable Living," which forms the core concept of the book.


The term "Ecosociocentrism," although not currently found in English dictionaries, is a concept coined by merging two seemingly contradictory concepts: "Ecocentrism" and "Sociocentrism." These two concepts represent opposing value systems, with Ecocentrism emphasizing the values of the natural world (ecosphere) and Sociocentrism focusing on the values of human society (sociosphere). Ecosociocentrism has been introduced to bridge the apparent gap between these ecocentric and sociocentric values, often seen as conflicting. Consequently, "Ecosociocentrism" represents a harmonious synthesis of these contrasting tendencies, proposing that they can coexist in a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship rather than being mutually exclusive. In this context, "ecosphere" refers to the planetary ecosystem or Earth's system, while "sociosphere" refers to human social, economic, and technological subsystems.


Any development lacking ecological wisdom and ethical guidance is inherently contradictory and will eventually lead to its destruction. Humanity's critical task in the Anthropocene is to resolve this contradiction by integrating the political economy of the sociosphere with the ecology of the ecosphere. Ecosociocentrism envisions the seamless integration of the global political economy with Earth's ecology, necessitating a cultural shift away from hyper-anthropocentrism and towards recognizing the intrinsic value of interconnectedness and interdependence that permeates both ecosphere and sociosphere. Ecosociocentrism calls for perceiving the well-being and sustainability of living systems (ecosphere) and human social systems (sociosphere) as deeply intertwined. It emphasizes that the vitality of the sociosphere depends on the health of the ecosphere and vice versa. This perspective encourages humanity to redefine its relationship with Nature, fostering a holistic and sustainable coexistence between humanity and the broader living system in a symbiotic relationship. Only within the framework of such a paradigm can policies and strategies emerge to protect Earth's systems, conserve living entities, and maintain the planetary ecosystem, ensuring the proper functioning of both the ecosphere and the sociosphere.


Ecosociocentrism: The Earth First Paradigm


This paradigm underscores the need to reconcile conflicts between the sociosphere (social world) and ecosphere (natural world) through appropriate interactions that preserve social and ecological integrity and resilience. Developing a new global development ethics is paramount, prioritizing the preservation and enhancement of planetary ecosystems and processes in the ecosphere, along with social justice and human prosperity in the sociosphere. Ecosociocentrism comprises two interactive dimensions: the ecosphere and the sociosphere. The sociosphere pertains to the human social, economic, and cultural system. In contrast, sociocentric ethics, a perspective centered on society and its utilitarian principles, seeks to maximize social good, minimize social evil, and enhance societal happiness through human actions, recognizing human needs as influential driving forces.


The natural system is characterized by dynamic processes and properties that have evolved over millions of years. These attributes, including autopoiesis or self-organizational complexity, resilience, diversity, and interconnectedness, hold both instrumental and intrinsic values. Recognizing and protecting these values in Earth's natural system is crucial for sustaining humanity and the broader living system.


13.2 Conceptualization of Instrumental and Intrinsic Values in Nature



The conceptual framework of Ecosociocentrism


The conceptual framework highlights the dialectical interaction between the sociosphere (socioeconomic and cultural system) and the ecosphere (natural world), which operates cyclically with positive and negative feedback mechanisms. The current interaction between these two spheres has become highly antagonistic, resulting in severe consequences such as mass extinctions, global warming, climate change, ecosystem degradation, and rapid natural resource depletion. This antagonistic relationship must be reversed through cultural and behavioral changes in the sociosphere, as the global political economy is a primary driver of this conflict.


To address the root causes of the Anthropocene crisis effectively, it is essential to confront the ecologically unsustainable production and consumption patterns and unsustainable resource throughputs. Transforming the prevailing production and consumption model and deliberately designing science and technology to align with sustainability goals is crucial to prevent the planetary environmental and ecological crisis from reaching irreversible levels. This transformation requires a cultural and spiritual shift guided by ecological knowledge and moral imperatives, emphasizing interconnectedness and compassion.


The book argues that such a change can only be achieved through collective human consciousness informed by ecological wisdom, drawing from concepts like Buddhist Eco-Dharma, which emphasizes interconnectedness, and modern system theory's recognition of the planetary ecosystem's origin through interconnected autopoietic processes driven by solar energy, encompassing all life forms on Earth. This transformation is essential to preserve the biosphere and ensure a sustainable future for humanity during the Anthropocene epoch.


13.3 Conceptual Framework of Ecosociocentrism: The Earth First Paradigm



Assumptions of Ecosociocentrism: The Earth First Paradigm

Ecosociocentrism is predicated on the following foundational assumptions:


1. The sociosphere, as an integral component of the ecosphere or biosphere, is inherently interdependent and cannot exist independently.


2. The concept of infinite economic growth is intrinsically unattainable due to the constraints imposed by entropy law and the finite biocapacity inherent to the Earth's ecosystems.


3. A socio-economic framework that incorporates environmental externalities, adopts natural resource accounting, and refrains from discounting the value of Nature holds the potential for prolonged sustainability, safeguarding the well-being of humanity and the living system.


4. While technological advancements can enhance the efficiency of resource and energy utilization, they remain incapable of replacing Nature’s life support systems and services, nor can they generate additional matter or energy (matter and energy being constant in Nature).


5. Embracing a cyclical, regenerative, and distributive economic model serves as a cornerstone for preserving the integrity of both the sociosphere and the ecosphere or biosphere, thus establishing the foundation for environmental and social sustainability.


Directive Principles of Ecosociocentrism: The Earth First Paradigm


"Ecosociocentrism: The Earth First Paradigm" is grounded in ten principles that provide a rational foundation for achieving environmental sustainability, sustainable human development, intergenerational equity, and the flourishing of living systems on Earth. These principles guide human behavior towards responsible stewardship of the planet and usher in an era of ecocivilization:


1. The sustainability of the sociosphere is intricately connected to and dependent upon the resilience and sustainability of the ecosphere or biosphere.


2. Sustainable development is only possible when resource extraction, consumption, and throughput production from the sociosphere align with Earth's systems' regenerative and assimilative biocapacity.


3. The interaction between the sociosphere and the ecosphere is dialectical, causing reciprocal changes and impacts resulting in a new relational state that may be detrimental, neutral, or beneficial to the well-being of human beings and other life forms in Nature.


4. Human rationality, intellect, and wisdom can alter the trajectory of the environmental crisis and its consequences, enabling the actualization of human potential and the flourishing of life forms.


5. Destruction and degradation of the planetary ecosystem endanger the security and survival of all life forms, including humans, and thus, protecting "The Earth First" is essential for protecting the well-being of humanity and the biotic community.


6. Diversity, interconnectedness, autopoiesis, or self-organizing property of the living system have both instrumental and intrinsic values and must be safeguarded.


7. Preserving biological diversity, ecosystem resilience, interconnectedness, and life-sustaining environmental services is fundamental for social and environmental sustainability.


8. Human development and behavioral conduct must be guided by environmental and development ethics that embrace both instrumental and intrinsic values in Nature, fostering sustainable coexistence.


9. Equity and opportunities for all to satisfy basic needs and realize their human potential enhance humanity's moral capacity to include the nonhuman community within a single interconnected biotic community and achieve social and ecological sustainability through distributive economic justice and regenerative natural economy.


10. Ecosociocentrism: The Earth First Paradigm asserts that actions protecting and preserving biodiversity, autopoiesis, interconnectedness, and ecosystem health are morally right, while actions that undermine these attributes are morally wrong.

 

Policy Imperatives of Ecosociocentrism


Ecosociocentrism recommends eight policy imperatives for nation-states to integrate into their national development  strategies, emphasizing the political commitment to their implementation:


Cultural Change and Adaptation for Survival

1 Human cultural evolution has outpaced biological evolution, leading to precarious environmental impacts due to technological advancements and insatiable consumeristic culture. Developed countries' consumption rates, waste production, and greenhouse gas emissions highlight the magnitude of this impact. Implementing cultural change and adaptation to ecologically enabling consumption culture is crucial to address these issues.


2 Poverty Eradication and Debt Abrogation

Addressing the heavy debt burden carried by the global South is a moral imperative. Wealthy nations must recognize their obligation to assist developing countries in eradicating poverty and resolving the debt crisis of developing countries, where debt servicing constitutes 30 to 35 % of their national budgets. By doing so, they can contribute to global economic equity and prevent further ecosystem destruction.


3 Optimum Population

The world's population has significantly increased, and fossil fuel consumption and industrial production have surged. Achieving optimum population growth requires global collaboration and meaningful changes in how nations manage the global economy to balance current and future generations' needs.


4 Landscape Ecosystem and Ecoregionalism for Conservation

The preservation of biological diversity and planetary ecosystems has led to debates on how to conserve and manage them best. Ecoregions, characterized by distinct boundaries and ecological processes, generate valuable ecological services at the landscape level. Valuing biodiversity as a system within ecoregions emphasizes the protection of organisms, ecological services, and processes, providing a holistic approach to protection and conservation.


5 Restoration of Degraded Ecosystems

Ecological restoration focuses on reviving ecosystems that have suffered damage or degradation. It aims to expedite recovery and may involve replicating a pre-disturbed ecosystem or creating a new one. These efforts draw from principles in landscape ecology and are essential for ecosystem management and redevelopment.


6 The Integration of Global Political Economy with the Ecology of Nature

The integration of the global political economy with nature’s ecology can be achieved through natural resource accounting, the protection of natural capital, and a commitment to zero or negative discount on Nature. This plays a crucial role in ensuring environmental and social sustainability. It is imperative now that ecology guides political economy to shift the trajectory of development from the Anthropocene towards the Symbiocene, characterized by a regenerative and circular economy aligned with the cyclical regenerative processes of Nature.


7. Transition from fossil fuels to renewable resources

Technological innovations for rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewable resources can help but it is not enough to resolve environmental crisis and and change the current trajectory. Transition from fossil fuels to solar power, wind power, electric vehicles, hydropower, green hydrogen, carbon capture & storage technology is happening but not at a scale to make significant impacts. There is no doubt that we need green technologies in every aspect of human activity but such technologies can not emerge overnight and even if they emerge, they may not be cost effective and economically viable.


While some may argue that science and technology can enhance resource efficiency, this alone cannot ensure sustainable living on Earth. Sustainability requires maintaining the functional health of Earth's systems to meet present and future generations' needs while upholding fairness and equity. The notion that technology alone can solve these challenges without human behavioral and cultural change is considered absurd from an ecological perspective.


8. Disarmament and Reduced Military Spending: A question of human rationality?

Total global military expenditure in 2022 reached a new high of $2240 billion. The three largest spenders in 2022—the United States (900 billion US dollar), China (300 billion), and Russia (86 billion)—accounted for 56 per cent of the world total, according to new data on global military spending published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).


Even if 5-7% of the global yearly military budget is diverted to the investment on Nature (protection & conservation of Keystone ecoregions, landscape ecosystems), redevelopment of  Earth’s degraded ecosystems and poverty eradication, the current unfortunate trajectory of Anthropocene can be changed in one decade.  Weapons of mass destruction: nuclear, chemical & biological weapons are increasing. Armament and military madness of USA, NATO, China, Russia, India & others have become the biggest threats to humanity and planet Earth.


Only US has the power and capability to change this scenario, but it may be impossible to persuade American Military Industrial Complex even if a rational visionary leader emerges in the political landscape of USA. At present, human rationality cannot prevail over the military madness and arrogance of American political and military establishment. This creates a compelling situation for its adversaries to do the same. This march towards self-destruction and annihilation cannot be stopped unless the collective consciousness of masses of the people, scientific community, thinkers and pacifists becomes a powerful force to be reckoned with.


Conclusions


The current growth model, an extension of the Keynesian macroeconomic model, lacks a fundamental understanding of the finite nature of Earth's resources, environmental degradation, and planetary limits. This unsustainable model cannot persist for long (perhaps any more than 50 years at its current rate of resource consumption and waste throughput) without substantially altering its core assumptions and operations. The neoliberal growth model, as well as the centrally planned socialist economic model, failed to recognize that the human socio-economic and cultural system must operate within the bounds of the planetary ecosystem. In its current form, the neoliberal model undermines the democratic principle of fair and equitable development. It widens the wealth gap, concentrates power and wealth in the hands of a few individuals and corporate conglomerates, increasing social and economic inequity; the conclusions of Thomas Piketty’s seminal work cannot be refuted even by the staunch adherents of neoliberal capitalism. The book calls for transformative changes in the dominant growth model to align it with ecological systems and democratic principles, promoting sustainability, social justice, and equitable development.


The proposed paradigm, Ecosociocentrism: The Earth First Paradigm, draws knowledge and wisdom from Buddhism, Gaia, and system theory to begin a journey with a profound look at human consciousness, which is now understood not merely as an isolated phenomenon but an evolutionary develop­ment with substantial implications for human behavioral change. When human con­sciousness is elevated, we are more likely to perceive and value the interconnectedness of life, recognizing the environment as an organic extension of ourselves. Yet, con­sciousness alone is not sufficient. Equally important is to live a life with a sense of spirituality—a sense of connection that transcends the individual self and binds us to Earth and the cosmos. Such spirituality gives rise to a deep sense of awe and rever­ence for the natural world, promoting a stewardship-based approach to environmental interactions. In this sense, spirituality is not confined to religious or mystical experiences. Instead, spirituality can emerge from our everyday encounters with Nature, from the simple act of observing sunrise or sunset on the snowcapped mountaintop to the amazingly deep and colorful sea world and to the complex web of life of tropical and Amazonian rainforests and, in introspection, realizing of our special existential role within this grand cosmos.

I believe human consciousness, combined with spirituality, is a powerful and liberating force of unlocking our full potential as individuals and as a species. It can open a new vista for the quantum leap to eco-cultural enlightenment, a new milestone in the evolutionary history of Homo sapiens liberating humanity from its current delusion. I cannot help quoting Albert Einstein’s statement that impeccably evokes this vision:


"A human being is part of the whole called by us “the universe,” a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts, and our feelings as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical illusion of our Consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of Nature in its beauty".


No doubt, humanity's biggest challenge today is how to free itself from the prison of this optical illusion to preserve the web of interconnectedness and live in peaceful coexistence with other living entities in Nature. The interweaving of con­sciousness, spirituality, and moral imperatives in environmental stewardship pres­ents a holistic approach to addressing our environmental challenges and climate crisis. Through this integration and engagement, we hope to bring about a societal transformation that redefines our relationship with Nature and our roles as custodians of the Earth.


A paradigm fostering ecological harmony between the ecosphere and sociosphere is indispensable to facilitate this transformation. Planet Earth is the sole abode for all biotic communities, including Homo sapiens. Only a healthy and functionally nourishing Earth can ensure the security of humanity and sustainable living, which is possible if The Earth First Paradigm becomes the conscious work­ing algorithm of humanity in the Anthropocene epoch of the twenty-first century. This is not merely a hopeful vision of the future; it is a logical and necessary path we must embark upon to prolong our sustainable living on planet Earth.


                                                Thank you very much.


Please watch the Video to learn more about how this book envisions sustainable living on Earth.


In this book, I have argued that only functionally healthy Earth’s systems can ensure the security of humanity, the living system, and sustainable living for all. This is possible only if “The Earth First Paradigm” becomes humanity's conscious working algorithm in the Anthropocene epoch of the twenty-first century.


Collective human consciousness can help us realize “The Earth First Paradigm.” If we do not embrace It, will we be sailing in a leaky boat on a stormy sea? This is not merely a hopeful vision of the future but a logical and necessary path to follow if we wish to exist on this planet.







Please buy and read this book from Springer Nature and Amazon book platforms. Go to the Springer link link.springer.com




 

 

 

 

 

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Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

In his insightful book, "Ecosociocentrism: The Earth First Paradigm for Sustainable Living," Professor Gopi Upreti offers a profound examination of humanity’s current environmental predicaments through the lens of ecosociocentrism—a philosophy that places Earth and its ecosystems at the forefront of our priorities. Amid the backdrop of escalating climate crises and environmental degradation, this book not only diagnoses the root causes of ecological distress but also provides a hopeful vision for a sustainable future, advocating for a radical shift in both thought and action.

 

Professor Upreti deftly weaves together complex ecological, economic, and sociopolitical threads to argue that the prevailing development paradigms, deeply entrenched in growth and exploitation, are fundamentally unsustainable. He critiques the neoliberal economic models that prioritize short-term…

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Dec 31, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

In "Ecosociocentrism: The Earth First Paradigm for Sustainable Living" authored by Professor Gopi Upreti, a profound examination of the critical juncture humanity faces in the Anthropocene era is presented. The book unveils the inadequacy of growth-centric solutions and emphasizes the urgency of profound transformations in human consciousness and behavior, underscoring their necessity for the preservation of both human life and Earth's diverse ecosystems. The central argument asserts that safeguarding Earth, our sole habitat in the vast cosmos, should be our foremost priority for our own well-being. Anyone concerned about the future of our planet and human civilization should regard this book as essential reading, offering valuable insights and a practical blueprint for harmonious and sustainable living on Earth.


Nayana G.

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Guest
Dec 31, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Awesome work!

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