Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Growth or Sustainability? December 29, 2011

CFN – Reflecting on some of the images and words shared on line concerning peoples’ Christmas celebrations and the amount of “stuff” involved in such a holiday I cannot help but ask myself, “What the heck are we doing”.  Human consumption whether for survival or for having the “latest model” of something is affecting the health and survival of our planet.  If we wish to sustain our world population now and for future generations great thought and action must be given to consuming less and by making the full cycle of production, use and disposal sustainable.“What would a sustainable society look like?  It would meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  It would be a system that respects the limits, the carrying capacity of natural systems.  It would be powered by renewable energy sources and, so far as possible, would emulate nature, WHERE ONE ORGANISM’S WASTE IS ANOTHER’S SUSTENANCE.  We have the technologies needed to make a sustainable society happen.  The question is whether we have the political will?”  ~Quantum Theology, Diarmuid O’Murchu~

Our own well-being is intimately tied to the diversity and health of eco-systems on our own planet.  Maintaining diverse eco-systems such as wetlands and forests is vital for our health and that of our living planet.  Paraphrasing Chief Seattle, “whatever befalls the earth, befalls man”.
According to Mike Nickerson “humankind is faced with an historic challenge.  Collectively, we have grown to where we are stretching the limits of our planet, yet society’s goal is more growth.  Now that continued expansion is causing our biggest problems, we need a goal that aims to stabilize our impacts”.  Evidenced by information in the “Millennium Ecosystem Assessment” Wikipedia confirms that “global scale scientific data now indicates that humans are living beyond the carrying capacity of planet Earth and that this cannot continue indefinitely”.

What can we do?  Each individual action that each of us makes can collectively make a huge difference and pave the road for sustainability.  Personally I make the most of the “things” that I have.  I do not need, nor want the latest model of “whatever” currently on the market.  Where possible items are repaired, recycled or repurposed to insure that the most use is made of all the resources that have went into making a product.  I recently had three blankets repaired so that we could continue using them.  There were some holes, and the trim was beginning to or had already freed itself from the blankets.  We could have simply purchased new blankets; however these items had served us well over the years and with these repairs will serve us for many years to come.  Engaging the services of a local person for the repairs also helped sustain a local business and the community.
We can begin by making thoughtful choices; choices that support sustainability.

My number one sustainable action for 2012 is saying no to Polystyrene, better known as Styrofoam.  This is an item that can be challenging to eliminate from ones life.  I do know that it is doable.  So this means I must be prepared to shop somewhere that offers an alternative, be prepared to pay more for an alternative, (if needing items for a picnic, function, etc.) and be prepared to walk away without a desired product if it can only be purchased with the Polystyrene (Styrofoam).  I know I can purchase take-out without this material and even manage to make my meat purchases (means going to a butcher or meat counter and asking for butcher paper) without Styrofoam.  The challenge this year will be to get by business suppliers to accommodate my wishes.  I know customer service is top priority for business, and they will do what they can do support my wishes and to support a healthy planet.

Why not Polystyrene?  This is a product that in the majority of cases goes from table to garbage to landfill.  For more information about this substance visit http://www.earthresource.org/campaigns/capp/capp-styrofoam.html

Your commentary is encouraged and always welcome below or to earthmatters@cornwallfreenews.com

5 Responses to "Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Growth or Sustainability? December 29, 2011"

  1. ssppjournal   December 29, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    You might also be interested in this blog post from Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy (http://sspp.proquest.com/)

    “Sustainable Consumption and Austerity”
    http://ssppjournal.blogspot.com/2011/11/sustainable-consumption-and-austerity.htm

  2. Furtz   December 29, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    We do live in interesting times, which is pretty scary. Our whole economic system depends on people acquiring, consuming and disposing of more and more stuff in order to sustain itself. We’re on a dead end road for sure, but all the advertising on TV has convinced most people to keep their foot on the gas instead of the brake. Who would have thought fifty or sixty years ago that television would play such a big part in destroying our planet?

  3. Jacqueline   December 29, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    Human activity is causing cumulative degradation of the environment, is using renewable resources faster than their rate of renewal and is leading to the extinction of other life forms. Often our own activity risks the quality of our air, water and soil. Essentials for all life. Putting these essentials at risk for profit just doesn’t make sense. Wouldn’t you say it is time for each one of us to think about the global consequences of the choices and actions that we take each day? Isn’t it time for us to make choices for the benefit of our own well-being and for the health and well-being of our future generations?

  4. tnpreacher555   December 30, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    The earth worshiper writes “Wouldn’t you say it is time for each one of us to think about the global consequences of the choices and actions that we take each day? Isn’t it time for us to make choices for the benefit of our own well-being and for the health and well-being of our future generations?”

    Luk 12:4 -5 ” And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him”.

    If such would put the same effort in preparing for eternity, and that by His grace, one would see that all this earth, and the things of this earth is slated for purification by Divine judgment, and that by fire –

    “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2Pe 3:10 -13).

    And by the way, I am all for good stewardship of God’s creation, but putting the concern for mother Gaia first, is rank idolatry of the first order. And the answer to reduce “human activity” is abortion, euthanasia, and all manner of birth control. We have to save the world – abort the human, save the seals, toads, etc! Or maybe we could learn from our cousins the bears, and go into hibernation for the winter. I think that will work! Wake me up when it is spring.

  5. Furtz   December 30, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    There you have it, Jacqueline. You will be going directly to hell. and sooner than you think!

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