“What fool would deliberately starve the Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs?”
Along with more walking, Lua emphasized the need for a more eco-literate society — a society that uses principles of organization of ecosystems to serve as a guide when designing intelligent sustainable human communities. An ecologically literate society has a heightened awareness of its impact on the environment and therefore less likely to inadvertently destroy the natural world on which it ultimately depends. Lua believed that the best hope for re-learning to live sustainably begins with schooling that returns to the basics by actively engaging with the natural world to understand how Nature sustains all life, including human life.
Ecoliteracy is the foundation needed for an integrated approach to addressing environmental challenges. It speaks in the language of complexity, holism, sustainability, and systems to gain a proper understanding of the complex interdependence of ecological systems, social systems, and other systems on multiple levels. Because of its importance to the continued health and well-being of human populations, ecoliteracy must become a critical competency for politicians, business leaders, and professionals in all spheres in the 21st century. And it should be foundational at all levels from primary and secondary schools to colleges, universities, and the continuing education and training of professionals, Lua insisted.
"All education is fundamentally environmental education. Students are taught that they are part of, or apart from, the natural world depending on how they are taught, what they are taught, and in what context.”
Ecoliteracy also seeks to build meaningful connections between head, hands, and heart and to emphasize that the need to protect ecosystems is not simply some petty sentimental longing held by environmentalists, but a biological imperative for human survival.
Ecosystem health is a basic principle for prioritizing thought and action in a sustainable society. Considering the increasing capacity of human industrial systems to destroy habitats, destabilize climate systems, accelerate species extinction, pollute the environment, and unravel delicate ecosystems; the non-negotiable necessity of living within the ecological carrying capacity of the Earth is becoming increasingly clear.
“People need to get out more and pay attention to what is happening. We have been living far beyond our means and exceeding the sustainable carrying capacity of the Earth by recklessly and irresponsibly drawing down our ‘natural capital’ principal and not living modestly and sustainably off of just the interest. Some would characterize this principal-plundering of Nature as an ecological Ponzi scheme of global proportions.”
I imagined a corporation gradually selling off its productive assets and including the proceeds as 'profit'. This amounts to the same behavior — with similar outcome: a guaranteed end to the benefits of the productive system and to the enterprise itself. Obviously, one cannot degrade a wealth production system and expect no diminishment in the value it produces over time. What fool would deliberately starve the Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs? Perhaps the fool that cannot discern the Goose!