Sunday, November 9, 2008

Retired Carleton professor tackles 'culture of greed'

I thoroughly enjoyed this brief article in this morning's Ottawa Citizen, not so much for what it said, but where it ultimately took me in my search for more information on this intriguing individual.

Retired Carleton professor tackles 'culture of greed'

Someone recently asked anthropology professor Ian Prattis what future society will look like.

"I told him we would have a lower standard of living," Mr. Prattis recalls. "Second car -- no. Cottage -- no. We'd have different infrastructure just to move around, because the infrastructure in our city is not sustainable."

Here are some lines that really intrigued me.

...he sees a lower standard of living as a good thing, in the long run.

...economics is "a failed science" and ... our society suffers from a pathological "culture of greed." He has asked the Nobel committee to stop awarding a prize for economics and give one for ecology instead.

We need to abandon greed and capitalism and return to our instinctive understanding of sustainable, he argues.

Greed "is pathological. It makes people ill. It kills them. It will kill any possibility of our species being alive on this planet past this century."

Once I read this, I knew that I wanted to learn more about Ian Prattis. It turns out, according to his website, that he is
a poet and scholar, peace and environmental activist - has trained with Masters in Buddhist, Vedic and Shamanic traditions and gives dharma talks, seminars and retreats around the world.

He is the founder of Friends for Peace - a coalition of meditation, peace and environmental groups that works for peace and planetary care and also the resident teacher of a Buddhist meditation community in Ottawa, Canada - the Pine Gate Sangha.

I am hoping to meet him in the near future.

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