Some people think sustainability and sustainable development are ill-defined pie in the sky. On the right, you have people like Phillip Stott, a biogeography professor from University of London, writing, "[S]ustainability is thrown into the argument to block development and growth, to conjure up a return to an imagined, usually rural, Utopia. But, theoretically, sustainability flies in the face of reality." It's Arcadia. It's Eden.
On the left people deeply steeped in sustainability talk like David Orr question the growth-oriented economy and, more or less, the trajectory of western civilization. In "Four Challenges to Sustainability" he wrote, "Genuine sustainability, in other words, will come not from superficial changes but from a deeper process akin to humankind growing up to a fuller stature. The question, then, is not whether we will change, but whether the transition is done with more or less grace and whether the destination is desirable or not."
What are you sustaining? For whose advantage? You can sustain status quo at lots of people's expense. Maybe your squashing people's creativity and potential with an eco-fascist mindset. Friday's guests, I'm sure, disagree.
Eric Sauder and Spud Marshall started New Leaf Initiative (pic at right) "brings sustainability to life." From central Pennsylvania to Haiti, they guide their collaborations by integrating the four sustainability concepts from Natural Step . They aren't going the eco-fascist route, setting up a "Green" jack-booted gestapo to enforce regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions and polluting extractive technologies. Through their incubator and consultancy, they work with people on the ground and in the street to help create happier, healthier, and more inventive people, cleaner and safer economies of scale, and thriving environments. From art to buildings to education, people work with them our best to life.
Listen to our October 14th show with them here.