“Sustainability is a matter of long term development” (Fowler, J., Sept.24th), this is the simplest statement describes the word “sustainability” till the end of the third week lecture. After two weeks’ lecture classes and ESS lecture classes, the concept that “sustainability is not a certain technology or policy” (Introduction to Environment, Sustainability and Society, slide79) is founded in my mind. Mind Shift organization and professor Matthew Schnurr’s research taught me more specifically that sustainability is not only about the environment.
“Many current discussions about sustainability focus on the ways in which human activity...can be maintained in the future without exhausting all of our current resources… there has been a close correlation between the growth of human society and environmental degradation - as communities grow, the environment often declines” (603).
In chapter six of Radical Evolution, author Joel Garreau shows through various interviews and examples that even though technology may be rising on an exponentially increasing Curve, humans may still be able to change the effects of technological advance in unpredictable ways. Deemed the Prevail scenario, it is also characterized by humans slowing down once-viewed inevitable change viewed as negative and speeding up positive change. Another great theme of the Prevail Scenario is its idea that technological advance will enable humans to acquire a better understanding of their society and nature. In addition to discussing the Prevail scenario, Garreau also discusses the possible change humans
Within this chapter Bell explains the concept of ‘The Treadmill of Production’, where capitalism 's core impulse to expand production without regard to natural limits of growth set by the biosphere. This impulse makes the process of capital accumulation inherently unsustainable and anti-ecological. According to Bell and the Treadmill of Production model, developments in technology, primarily encouraged by owners of the means of production seeking to increase profits, drive the expansion of production and consumption simultaneously. This process leads to a cycle of production demanding more production, because all sectors of society (the state, organized labour, and private capital) depend on continued economic growth to solve problems, such as unemployment generated by mechanization, which are created by growth itself. As more production is required to keep up with demand so too is the increase and acceleration of ecological demands. The advanced capitalist economies are so unsustainable because production is secured into this capitalist treadmill of never-ending expansion and growth for growth 's sake.
The definition of sustainability is the ability to support a long term ecological balance while not harming the environment or depleting its natural resources. According to Robert Goodland and his essay “The Case that the world has reached limits” the world is currently being run unsustainably, “being fueled by inherited fossil fuels is the best single example” (Goodland 602). Fossil fuels are non renewable gases and oils and we are using them to provide 60 percent of the global energy, because of the extensive usage of these nonrenewable fossil fuels, we barely have fifteen years left of reserves. Goodland uses his essay to build on Brundtland’s leads to gain and maintain sustainability, claiming that we need a “new era of economic growth” to meet the needs of sustainability (Goodland 602). Goodland
In his essay, "Resources and Environmental Policy," Jan Narveson claims that, "there are no global shortages of anything that we have to worry about." In this claim he makes two basic assumptions about resources. The first assumption concerns infinite substitutability; no matter what we need, we will always be able to find something else that will work just as well or better. The second assumption concerns infinite technological advancement; we will always be able to invent something that will either allow us to use a resource more efficiently and extend its life span, or we will invent something that will allow us to exploit a new resource and thus render the previously scarce resource obsolete. The major problem
Sustainability is defined as the ability to endure.(1) Though the idea of sustainability can be applied to most anything from a sustainable ecosystem that has survived thousands of years to a sustainable workplace that uses green technologies. Paul Hawken captured today’s connotation of sustainability in saying “Sustainability is about stabilizing the currently disruptive relationship between earth’s two most complex systems—human culture and the living world.” (2) There are countless ways to live, work, and produce sustainably. Sustainability not only needs to be practiced by citizens, but businesses need to join the green movement as well. Without creating, following, and enforcing green policies, negative effects will be evident and innumerable
Robbins Elementary, an urban school located in a large city in Texas, has defied the odds by attaining and sustaining high academic success rates for an approximate twenty-year time period. As Okilwa and Barnett (2017) noted, Robbins Elementary had grown to become homogeneous in race (majority Hispanic) and economic status (increased economically disadvantaged status). According to the article (Okilwa & Barnett, 2017), 2013 census data revealed that 50% of families in Robbins Elementary attendance zone earned less than $35,000 annually, with a median income of $35,282. Assumptions regarding high-need schools would, undoubtedly, portray Robbins Elementary as a school that would struggle academically with high teacher and principal
The concept of sustainability, on a broader spectrum, is not a matter from the post-industrial society. Simon Dresner gives us an overview of how the bright minds explained the concept of progress, growth and the such, several years before the Industrial revolution. Tracing down the progress back time, the invention of printing press has revolutionized the world and made it easier to spread ideas between nations with no much effort. With constant development in Western science, belief in progress and growth became more obivious and strong.
Throughout history, and particularly in the last century there have been conflicting visions of how technological developments have impacted and solved the many problems of human-kind. Mary Tiles and Hans Oberdick highlight two conflicting visions towards the feelings of technological development. One side is optimistic, that believes in technological omnipotence that could help keep control of the environment and human destiny. On the other end of the spectrum, technological pessimists believe in technological impotence, and that human nature would be incapable of controlling technological advancement, thus extracting all of the Earth’s resources and spiraling out of control. From the optimistic view humans are in absolute control of the technologies that are produced. Technology is used according to its needed purpose, and thus may or may not be needed to help the further development of humanity. For this reason, we can say that optimists believe that technology is value neutral, as human nature is responsible for deciding how we use technology
Governments, environmental agencies, and corporations alike have utilized the term “sustainability” in order to convey their respective agendas for general sustainability in environmental, social, and economic realms. In spite of their initiatives, there has yet to be a generally agreed upon, uniform definition for “sustainability.” This lack of semantic clarity has promoted skepticism among some parties, skepticism primarily focused in the legitimacy of sustainability agendas, as well as the idea of sustainability in itself (Context & Development, 1992). This essay seeks to inspect the concepts of sustainability generated by two
The term sustainability is one that been conceptualized since the early civilizations of humans inhabited the earth. During those primative times, everything that allowed civilizations to thrive came from the earth. Humans during those times were more more in touch with their reliance on the environment. In today's society, the reliance on our natural environment seems much further away due to our insulation from modern conveniences. Nevertheless, this conception could not be further from the truth; we are more reliant now on the world's renewable resources than ever before.
At the core of Adam Frankel’s “Sustainability?,” a long list of applications, each application accompanied by a brief description of its function, lies the idea that environmentalism is about acting to feel good, a form of thinking called consequentialism, the aesthetic thought. Morton’s ecological thought refutes consequentalism as a viable method for environmentalism as that form of thought will fail to spark large-scale ecological action. Frankel’s consequentialism is evident as under every description is the title “Why we need it,” emphasis on the “we” (Frankel). Instead of saying “you,” knowing the app is directed at a single reader at a time, the fact that Frankel uses “we” instead of “you” begs the question: who is “we” referring to? By using “we,” Frankel brings the rest of humanity into why a person would “need” to download this app, suggesting that the person needs to download the app because “we,” the rest of humanity, needs the reader to do so; the reader is doing what “we” wants, the reader submitting to the wills of others, the will of the bigger crowd and thus the greater good, making him or her feel as though he or she is a part of something bigger, making him or her feel good as a result of that. Moreover, many of the apps listed in the article have benefits other than being sustainable, such as “feel[ing] more invested in their communities,” being “cool,” “reduc[ing] gas emissions and fuel costs,” “reward[ing] users for recycling” and other ecological
He then composites a list of all these great inventions that we have come up with, like our modern PlayStation that has technologically advanced so much that it is more powerful than a military supercomputer from 1996. With all the advances in computers and electronic gadgets, it miscommunicates some of the unspoken things. A main concern that was brought up was that Americans are losing jobs to computers, and how even though we are making more money than ever, it seems to not be from working hard at an occupation. This is where Erik Brynjolfsson emphasizes that what people begin to see technology as, is more of a competition other than a helpful resource. This type of thinking is what causes technology to stagnate and fall into