Friday, February 6, 2009

For Whom the Bell Tolls?

Very thought provoking interview on sustainability by John Sterman where he touches upon aspects of systems thinking, personal values, economic imperatives, global needs etc

He gives an indication of the gravity of the problem in a very cogent and non threatening manner. At one point he states,

Pretty quickly people discover for themselves that as long as everybody in the world wants more—as long as everyone in the world wants to be as rich as we are, and we all want to be richer than we are today, there's no solution.

“As long as everybody in the worldwants more, there’s no solution.”

What makes it particularly hard is that this is a conversation that's not permissible in our society. Even the English language doesn't allow it! There are words for not having enough—shortage—but there's no word for excess demand. There's no such word as a "longage" of demand.

Its one of the most intriguing questions in front of the world today. On one hand we all understand that economic prosperity is the key to growth, while at the same time we know that nature has put a cap on us with regards to how fast and how well can we grow. If we ignore that signal on the signpost, it is only going to be at our peril.

Growth in economy will result in damage to environment and that growth will then fuel further damage in terms of more vehicles on the road, more power consumption, more water consumption and a lifestyle centered on excess of everything.

The question in front of the society today is in the continuum of time, which road should we take? Should we continue to consume more and destroy more or do we attempt to figure out that mysterious proportion at which each nation can meet its need as well as manage its greed without causing grave consequences for the next generation?

The countries which have progressed at the expense of environment and also other nation's peace and harmony need to take a strong stand and exhibit their leadership at this juncture to set a worldwide movement for a cleaner lifestyle.

And this movement has a role for each an every individual as even switching off an extra bulb is a contribution in that direction.

Wish we all ya 6.7 billion people on this earth could stand in solidarity and express our commitment towards a cleaner future for the generations to come.

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