Designing a Proxy for Nature
Who speaks for nature?
We’ve launched a preliminary website for Bank of Nature, which is now open for comment and suggestions. Presently, it’s a lot of reading as we have worked to capture as much of our worldview as possible and, in a sense, outline the universe of our plan for global change through Fiduciary Finance. There are many big ideas — scroll through the landing page and the design page. For one, the vision for Bank of Nature is to be an independent, legally recognized proxy for nature. To unpack that:
A proxy is the authority to represent someone else. You might experience this as a proxy in shareholder votes, or by giving your proxy to someone to represent your interests. A proxy can be a literal stand-in for someone else or a document giving permission for someone else to act your behalf. Maybe you have given authority to some one in your family to make health decisions for you in the case the you cannot. That’s a health proxy. The United Nations, at least symbolically, has promoted the idea of an “ombudsperson for future generations“.
Nature is itself a puzzle of meaning. Nature is a name that humans give to what is (as a sense of philosophy) and from whence we came (as a sense of gratitude). It’s all around us. To give it a name is to, knowingly, make it simpler than what it actually is — a complex collection of geobiochemical planet-scale processes — and therefore make it accessible. We might argue that it also makes it exploitable. At least, as a proxy for nature, that’s what we see.
If Bank of Nature is given one task — to represent nature — that means we can make nature relevant at scale and with influence. That means making it a player, when it is not presently. That means creating another social construct, like we have with markets and governments, that works at planet- and society-scale for its own interests.
Nature doesn’t care if we extract the life-giving forces of our environment. We are just biology. To be audacious enough “to speak for nature” or “to give voice to nature” is what Bank of Nature aspires. And, while that might sound outlandish, our society agreeably listens to all kinds of proxies — government leaders who speak for people, or religious leaders who speak for the divine.
Who speaks for nature? That’s a question we would like to answer.