I might argue that sustainability doesn’t work. You cannot keep anything the same forever; why do you think people die? Life has to be recreated in order to continue. If you want to be real about it the only thing that is sustainable is change.
“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Wikipedia says that Sustainability is the “capacity to endure,” though the defining tenet of humanity and life on earth has been the ability to adapt to the change, because change is ever-present. My concerns is that the essence of sustainability these days seems to be control. “If we could just keep people from building in pristine places, make them use ‘green’ products with new building standards, and require that the government buy organic, we would be on our way,” some think. Well hear this; Karl Marx believed in this kind of comprehensively planned society. Marx believed there should be no competition, but a comprehensively controlled system; sounds like the idea of sustainability preached today.
What we really need are more mindful realists. People that aren’t afraid to be who they are, stand up for what they believe in, and not tip-toe around the bush. If you want that fox, dive right in that brush and go get it. What we need are more Theodore Roosevelts in the world. From a military and authority perspective, Teddy wasn’t afraid to show off his and our country’s might; a little show-boaty for my taste, but straight foward. “Here is my White Fleet, it will destroy you if you push my buttons, try me.” Obviously not a liberal approach to life.
But wait, have I mentioned that Teddy and Mr. John Muir are the fathers of our National Parks system, very much enjoyed the outdoors, and preached Conservationism? Wait, what? That’s right Mr. Tough Guy, New York City Police Commissioner, Medal of Honor Nominee, Republican avid hunter was a progressive conservationist and environmentalist. Oh, that’s right, that’s where we get the name Teddy Bear (he refused to shoot a cornered bear).
“There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all marred.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
My opinion is that in the future, everyone will continue doing whatever allows them to easy and comfortably get by. Conservation of our own energy is a human survival tactic (read laziness). This virus we call the human race will do whatever is needed to survive for as long as we can. When price gets too high for gasoline, we will look for alternatives; when we have ruined every underground water aquifer and well with fracking, we will look for alternatives. When the day finally comes that we cannot healthily fish the seas because aquatic creatures consist of too much plastic and heavy metals, we will find another way.
“We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
You’re way off if you think that never ruffled a feather in his party. The point being, he was no BS. Regardless of what sticks and stones are thrown your way, stand up for what you believe in. Be you and be real. Sustainability is Utopian; conservation is realistic. And I have always respected speaking softly and carrying a big stick.
I welcome your thoughts on the matter…
2 thoughts on “Is Sustainability Dead? Teddy Bear has the Answer”
Couldn’t tell which side you’re on with this spiel, Danny. I love how everyone who “cares” about the planet and its environment ALWAYS leaves out the major culprits that are causing the negative effects on the earth. Are YOU doing the fracking? Are YOU taking groundwater out of the deep earth and replacing it with foul, chemical laden frack water so that no one can draw pure water in areas where this has occurred? Are YOU chemtrailing millions of gallons of dangerous chemicals DAILY upon the earth from airplanes for supposed weather seeding purposes, which have done nothing but destroy America’s (and the world’s) natural weather systems? I know, most of you just think chemtrail activists are crazy cloud nuts, choosing rather to believe that the trails are really water vapor, exhaust, condensing from hot aero engines into cold atmosphere. They call them, ummm, oh yeah, CONtrails! These are the ones who don’t want to believe in what is really happening. The government already admitted, after hundreds of activists finally pinned them down with proof, that they are spraying our atmosphere. Go to geoengineering on Wikipedia, don’t waste your time with searching chemtrailing, they’ve got that debunked. Check out chemtrails on YouTube before making decisions on whether it is real or not. Danny, Are YOU decimating (or allowing it so) of millions of acres of pristine rainforest in South America and other parts of the world for the purpose of harvesting rare wood for furniture on a few hundred people in the world will ever get to own? Or, Dan, do YOU permit the dumping of millions of tons of trash into the world’s oceans while looking in the other direction. meanwhile the Pacific has become a cesspool of trash with thousands of marine animals dying from eating plastic bags they thought were jellyfish or becoming ensnared in discarded bottles, fishing nets and tires? Go to YouTube and watch videos on how gold is mined. It makes the diamond industry look humane! Just keep buying gold, though. As long as we don’t see what is going on, we don’t have to believe it happens, right? I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea! Telling people to conserve water,or toss their trash responsibly, or to stop using plastic is just putting a bandaid on an Earth size infected wound. Yes, uneducated cultures and uncaring peoples do act carelessly but nowhere near the recklessness of the governments around the world. We’ve been conditioned to believe it’s all humans fault for the state that we’re in. If we all were educated, actually shown in the media, what it takes to say, mine an ounce of gold, do you really think humans would want others to suffer so badly for this industry? That is the TRUTH, Danny. Work to get the governments and big businesses to change their ways and then talk about accomplishing something for the greater good.
Some valid points KayKaye, we are all part of your proverbial “YOU”/”WE” and contribute to it daily. WE are all consuming the future today in the most unsustainable ways that will only be paid for by our children, grandchildren and posterity thereafter. But how do YOU quench the insatiable thirst for growth inside of a system WE have designed to just that end. WE define progress as growth and our perpetual growth complex is almost built into our DNA. We are the only species that instead of consuming the meager and weak constantly hunts and picks off the largest animal we can find with our most cunning of survival tactics. We have built that complex into our economic model of capitalism.
I believe there are hands down many things we can do better as a species in our treatment of the environment and stewardship of the planet, and I believe all of our problems can be mitigated if not rectified, but there is such a large disconnect in the feedback loop between our actions and their effects that most people never see (experience and recognize) how their daily choices ultimately impact their life down the line or the lives of others (present and future). As sad as it may sound, I don’t know that substantial-enough changes will be made until we are at a point where we have clearly destroyed various ecosystems and the human health implications are dire. As a species we constantly innovate, but as proverb goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Until enough people feel that we need, not just want change, it will not happen. So to me the question is how do you not just demonstrate, but allow people to live that need? And can that be done artificially to stimulate that environmental innovation, or must it just happen over time?