Wednesday, August 27, 2003

For Many, Sustainability is Insufficiently Satisfying...

They do not wish to sustain current societal and ecological ills, prefering to strive beyond sustainability.

According to French village designer. E. Christopher Mare:
" 'sustainability' is an over-abused phrase. It implies maintaining current conditions indefinitely, whatever the current conditions happen to be. Is this desirable? Is this natural? Is this life-enhancing?

"The bottom line is: Is it life-enhancing or not? A terminally ill or comatose patient's life can be "sustained" with the use of life-support equipment, but is that life enhanced thereby?

I believe the desired state to be striving for is 'beyond sustainability.'

"No matter which definition is chosen, the word 'Sustainable' has come to be identified with an attitude or approach that merely puts a brake on the current, out of control, positive feedback system....rings with asceticism to the general public: it means eliminating current behavior, giving up things; reduce, reuse, recycle. Homo sapiens will always have resistance to this, and so sustainability (as a paradigm) will never be more than a wake-up call: This cycle is coming to a close! Better change our behavior so we can stay alive or even remain in existence!? This is not life-enhancing; this is fearful anxiety.

"Beyond sustainability will be the beginning of a new cycle. In this phase, symbiotic attunement with/as Nature will be matter of fact...."

From 'Sustainability' by ekistics promoter E. Christopher Mare, 1998, La Rochelle, France.

Friday, August 22, 2003

For Some, Sustainability Sucks...
"What Sustainability Is Not!" by John Cairns, Jr. August 1998, answers most of those objections.

"Almost without exception, objections to sustainability have been without foundation.
The most common accusations are that sustainability is: (1) a subterfuge to protect endangered species, (2) anti-technology, (3) anti-industry, (4) anti-humans, (5) anti-private property, and (6) anti-change [The above were shown to be without foundation, BUT...]

...The Evolution/Sustainability Paradox

The evolutionary process is continually producing new forms, most of which are no better suited to present environments than existing organisms, but a notable few are. Sustainability is essentially an attempt to ensure favorable conditions for one species, Homo sapiens, over large temporal and spatial spans. ...the question of how competition from other species is handled has not been addressed adequately. ...This complex issue will probably prevent sustainable development from being the steady state perceived by most persons. In addition, general goals and conditions can endure if they are continually modified,..."

In the course of preparing for a presentation on the state of sustainability for Chicagoland Urban Permaculture (CUP), I appear to have developed a sustainable interest in sustainability.

This motivating event will be held Wednesday, August 27, 7-9pm. Titled Our State of Sustainability, it is a forum and discussion on the state of sustainability in northeastern Illinois. Among the questions to be addressed are: What does sustainability signify? How do we compare to other regions? What can we do to best adapt to the coming era of energy decline?

The event will be at North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski Road, Chicago.
Among the forum speakers are:
Hal Mead - host of Sustainable Chicagoland on WZRD, 88.3, Saturday, ~7:30pm
Valerie Busch-Zurlent - coauthor of "History of the Future that Belongs to Us" (under pseudonym Ottilia Robers)

To determine if this case of sustainable development remains sustainable, check this blog periodically.

1st Post
Minnesotans For Sustainability lists an extensive set of readings.

They define a Sustainable Society as:
A society that balances the environment, other life forms, and human interactions over an indefinite time period

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?