World Sustainable Development Teach-In Day

This coming Friday, December 3rd, marks World Sustainable Development Teach-In Day.
Sustainable development is an issue all countries in the world are currently looking at. The degree of emphasis and the level investing resources invested however varies from one country to another; but regardless of whether we are talking about industrialized or developing countries, the quest for environmentally sound, socially just, economically viable and ethically acceptable development needs to be regarded as a priority by all nations of the world.

For many years now, a large number of initiatives have been carried out throughout the world to attempt to stoke up awareness about sustainable development and promote initiatives to achieve it.

The 1987 Report "Our Common Future" produced by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), "Agenda 21" produced by the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and the "Johannesburg Declaration" produced following the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 are examples of the type of initiatives being worked on internationally. These have been complemented by the various "National Sustainable Development Strategies" produced prior to UNCED and after Johannesburg.
As a show committed to sustainability, this marks a great opportunity for us to talk about this thing called "sustainable development."

What is being developed and what is being sustained? So far, much of sustainable development seems to have been a global corporate-governmental collusion that has served the advantage of the already wealthy and powerful. Looking at just water issues in India, Bolivia, and Africa, the idea and practice of sustainable development might seem an oxymoron. There is no doubt we have a conundrum on our hands if we hope to bring health and material prosperity to ~6.8 billion people and counting.

Follow Paul Ehrlich's equation:
Impact = Population x Affluence x Technology
The United States has over 300 million people living here, <5% href="http://www.jameslovelock.org/">James Lovelock, father of the "Gaia theory" has called a "sustainable retraction." Maybe it's time to get in on the Transitions Initiatives. Maybe we all just need lifeboats for a coming dog-eat-dog world. Or maybe there is not really much to worry about and the Earth's carrying capacity will hold all of these developed people.

As part of the media we have a significant role to play. What do we hope to sustain? Who do we develop? What and whose purpose does all of this serve? In a world of uncertain futures, how and for whom do we conceive of our teaching?

What should sustainable development look like right here in Central Pennsylvania?

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