Ecological Civilization. True. The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party wrote the construction of an “Ecological Civilization” into the Constitution in 2012, thus requiring China to shift away from its modern industrial civilization. There is much irony in this considering China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon, has the largest coal consumption, thick and pervasive air pollution has reduced life expectancies, Water pollution is rampant as is desertification and they are engaging in wholesale mountain removal to the tune of a staggering 700 mountains to make way for the rapid construction of cities. Of course, the list goes on, but what is captivating to think about is the possibility that China has come to the realization that they can’t continue on like this, that there is an end to growth in Industrialization. We do not live on a planet with infinite resources and yet our economic systems that drive our modern civilization require unlimited growth. In fact, some in China are considering establishing a natural capital balance sheet and will begin monitoring its rise or fall as “destiny.” All very intriguing. Of course, much of this is driven by human suffering, not by the value of our natural world. Perhaps the greater question to us modern “civilized” humans is; what does an Ecological Civilization even look like?
Artist: Rob Whitehair
Digital mixed media: Pencil on Procreate, Photoshop