The term Economy was born in Ancient Greece and means something like Home Management (Oikos = Home). The term Ecology has the same etymological root (Oikos + Logos) and means Science / Knowledge of the House. It is the "Common House" of the Encyclical of Pope Francis, which does not include only Men. The Economy, in order to fulfill its great objective, had to be totally in tune with the Ecology, because the House of the Men is part of the ecosystem.
The absolute necessity of reversing the development model of the post-industrial revolution, especially in its perverse aspect (also has very positive aspects) of generating numerous social asymmetries, irreversible environmental impacts and waste of various kinds, leads to the concepts of Economy and Ecology tend to fuse.
If we meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, such a merger will occur because it means abandoning the arrogant anthropocentric vision and, humbly acknowledge that we are an important part of an ecosystem that provides us with many services.
If we were to attribute true economic value and had to pay for the Air we breathe or pay more for the Water we consume and waste, we would soon realize the importance of a successful development model that recognizes the interdependence between the Environmental, Social and Economic areas.
The vision may seem utopian and romantic. All right, I've seen the "skin" and as an economist and ecologist I will continue to defend such (im) possibility.
At GreenFest, we have celebrated these principles for 12 years and strive for a fairer and more equitable society, providing spaces for debate and inspiring sharing of best practices in the different environmental, social, cultural and economic domains. It is an open, plural and inclusive platform, with no partisan or bairristas "colors".
Visiting or participating in the event that has numerous activities for different audiences and age groups, is a unique opportunity to interact with innovative business models. It is noted that there is an emerging green economy and blue economy, which create jobs and generate value for society. Likewise, it is confirmed that circular economy is possible and desirable.
At the end of each event, we leave with a gratifying sense of optimism and hope for the future. The many young people and their families who visit us, in addition to companies and organizations, leave with an increased "eye shine" and willingness to play the role of agents of change in the communities where they are inserted. It's a civilizational and intergenerational challenge that we face!
Does it make sense to persist in the model that generates deep inefficiencies? We must continue to waste more than a third of the drinking water in our cities, or the enormous food losses, from seed to discard, or the blatant energy inefficiency of buildings and forms of construction, or social inequalities that include poverty or " savages "that compromise the environment?
And what about human capital? How many people are underutilized or undervalued in their jobs and communities? The opportunities for improvement are enormous and I am absolutely convinced that with education, research and development, we can create a new model of prosperity. Never as now have we had so much technology available that if properly applied has the transforming power and reconnection with our essence that is Nature.
Pedro Norton de Matos, organizer of the GreenFest that takes place in June in Braga, and in October in Cascais, writes about the relationship between economics and ecology in the context of World Earth Day.