Something I heard recently during an interview with Wendell Berry, and I copied from Bill Moyer's site;
“We don’t have a right to ask whether we’re going to succeed or not, the only question we have a right to ask is what’s the right thing to do? What does this earth require of us if we want to continue to live on it?”
Personally, I don't give a rat's patootie, what something is called. Is it a good thing?
I used to get irritated with lots of stuff. I personally do not like to see folks be overly compensated individually, when they can help society on a larger scale, but it really ain't my business. We all do what we can sleep with a night. Maybe it's right for them? Who am I to judge?
I now try to take a wise man's advice and not concentrate on the bad folks, and just try to do really cool crap myself.
I'd like to jump in on this discussion, which I see has been going for over 2 years...
I admit that I haven't read all of the posts (only about the first page).
It seems to me that the 3 Ethics aren't contained in the words. The Ethics are a deep-ecology understanding of the world around us, and the complex systems of interactions that take place in it. The words are merely a "bookmark" for all the rest-- a shorthand reference.
In the Earth-Centered Spiritual path that my wife and I are establishing, we speak of the "Three Sacred Relationships". If you study indigenous cultures, you find these relationships embedded into their entire world-view. They are:
"Sacred Relationship with the Earth"
"Sacred Relationship with one's human Community"
"Sacred Relationship with Spirit"
These roughly correspond to the 3 ethics spoken of in Permaculture. The first two are pretty clearly aligned. "Care of Earth" = "Sacred Relationship with Earth". "Care of People" = "Sacred Relationship with Community".
The "Fair Share" ethic is actually contained in our words "Sacred Relationship". We differentiate between a sacred relationship and an exploitative/abusive one. Exploitative relationships move the flow of energy from one to another, without respect for the natural systems one is upsetting. A "throw away" culture that harvests vast resources only to use them up and dispose of them, without closing the waste loop is inherently exploitative. A sacred relationship honors the cyclical flows of nature, and the "fair share" balance that exists there.
We would say that "Care of Earth" is important, but we also allow the Earth to take care of us. "Care of People" is important, but we also allow other people to Care for us. That's what it means to be in Sacred Relationship.
The final Sacred Relationship-- that of Relationship with Spirit, can be interpreted in many ways. Theists can interpret it as relationship with God. A Shaman will understand it as meaning the entire world of spirit that underlies the material world. Atheists can understand it as honoring one's highest values and ideals-- a relationship with one's "best self".
The Chem-Ag industry is exploitative-- mining the soil-- and when that's depleted, mining the oil and natural gas to artificially support life-- they also mine entire economies with their seed patents, exploiting people. They also mine the public coffers in the form of farm subsidies (a gigantic welfare dole at the expense of others). Chem-Ag is built on a basis of exploitation. If they make noises about conservation now, it's only to delay their collapse and keep milking the current system for as long as possible.