The noun and prefix are adapted from the Ancient Greek word ‘oikos’ symbolizing the linked concepts of family, the family home and family property. In today’s context, they represent society, the management and economics of our society and the environment in which we live.
We find the prefix in such diverse words as ecology, economy, ecoterrorist, econometric, ecofeminism, ecotourism, ecosystems and many others. The list is long and getting longer as views of our practices are better understood resulting in newly coined words which may, eventually, be assimilated into our language.
One of the more recent additions has been the concept of ecosocialism, a specific approach to conducting our economy and the resulting environmental impacts. It subscribes to the notion that our environmental crises are primarily caused by corporations having monetary profit as their highest goal.
The word ecocapitalism is a variation which refers to the value society places on natural resources. While that value may be monetary, it may also be non-monetary.
I believe the general public must gain a better understanding of environmental issues which impact our quality of life locally, regionally and globally. We rely on elected and hired help to make decisions for us, more and more often with little input from the public they serve. Whether a democracy or a dictatorship, we reached this often-suggested point of no return with little meaningful participation by the people.
This column will tackle the current, past as well as projected views of our local, regional as well as global habitats and habits, examining how they impact society, economics and environment.
In addition to my interest in the broad topic of how we interact with our environment as well as with other humans with whom we share this planet, I bring several associated experiences with me.
In 1992, I was one of seven founding directors of the McGregor Model Forest whose land base was Tree Farm License 30, held by Northwood. It was one of twelve funded by Canada to examine and test scientific and technological principals of sustainable forest management.
I continue to sit on a forest management public advisory group, representative of diverse interests, providing input into sustainable forest management planning of various past and current licensees operating in the Prince George Timber Supply Area.
I was the member representing environmental matters on the City of Prince George Healthy Community Committee in the mid 1990s. The movement originated in Canada in the late 1980s to build capacity through the empowerment of individuals, organizations and communities. The concept looked at a holistic approach to health.
I am the chair of PACHA - Peoples Action Committee for Healthy Air - an advocacy and watchdog organization concerned about air pollution in the Prince George airshed with over 20 years of experience. PACHA has a seat on the PG Air Improvement Roundtable Board which has both industrial and government representatives cooperating in programs designed to improve the local air quality in our river valleys often plagued with poor venting conditions.
My next column will address sustainability related to controllable human activities on our environment.