Friday, August 5, 2011

So What's the Hold-Up?

Continuing, obliquely, with the topic at hand. . .

So, why has the "sustainability" movement been so ineffective at initiating real change? Come'on, we've got to admit that-- by any metric, we're only losing ground.

The answer is in the "P's," I think.

Sustainability is most effectively achieved by altering paradigms. The primary paradigm which is in need of alteration is that the expectation of "economic growth" as a means to prosperity remains a viable world view. In a world of constraints, where we obviously find ourselves now, the only avenue left to increasing prosperity is through altering "process"--to ever more efficient, beneficent and higher real value return activity. Old timers call this frugality, and simplification of lifestyle and expectations is the fast track to achieving it. A vegetable garden isn't a bad example.  Process, adopting this paradigm, leads to progress. Unfortunately, the bandwidth of the cultural consciousness is still captivated not by progress, but by profits, and the "sustainability" movement is no exception here. Profits aren't accessed by efficient process, but rather products--and yup, here is the hold-up.

There are those that will tell you that you can transition to a "sustainable" world by adopting solar PV's, high tech batteries, LED lighting, smart chargers, electric hybrid cars, triple-pane thermally active windows, etc., etc., which is all neat stuff, no doubt, except the problem is you'll never ever be able to afford any of it if you actually do something for a living that's "sustainable." Is pimping inherently unsustainable "sustainable" product a sustainable means of earning a living? Phat chance!

Here's it's more the message of-- turn off the lights, wear a sweatshirt. Take the bus. Funny but there's no money in any of that. . .of course if you adopt the process of progress you'll find have less need for profits anyway.

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