11 February 2010

Sustainable Living

Most people I know talk about sustainability in regard to the environment. I think that is a rather narrow path to take. Sustainable living involves more than just dealing with environmental issues.

Sustainability is approached (not achieved) when the environment, the economy and society develop in collaboration using only the resources that can be replaced. An essential element of the concept is ensuring future generations’ ability to do the same. It involves fair trade and social justice. It means livable lives for everyone. If we cannot come up with lifestyles that everyone can adopt, it isn't really sustainable, is it?

Abelisto talks about sustainability and the treadmill of production. I have trouble thinking my way through that discussion. I, like so many others, keep trying to find ways that we can produce our way out of this mess. But I know we cannot. I know that we cannot have continual growth, our economy cannot keep growing - most of the growth we have achieved in the last 50 years seems to me to be a shell game, a global "robbing-peter-to-pay-paul." How can you call it growth if all you are looking at is profits? What about all those costs that keep getting deferred? Costs my children and grandchildren will end up paying...

As I said, I know we cannot fix this by producing - but I am having a hard time grokking it. Maybe it's denial - if we cannot produce our way out of this dilemma, how do we get out of it? Or can we?

Makes me want to buy a piece of ground and get sheep again (and all the other crap for a self-sustaining lifestyle). I think  I have read too many apocalyptic SciFi novels...

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