Sustainability by Design: A Subversive Strategy for by John R. Ehrenfeld

By John R. Ehrenfeld

The built international, more and more conscious of “inconvenient truths” approximately worldwide warming and sustainability, is popping its recognition to attainable remedies—eco-efficiency, sustainable improvement, and company social accountability, between others. yet such measures are mere Band-Aids, and so they may very well do extra damage than strong, says John Ehrenfeld, a pioneer within the box of commercial ecology. during this deeply thought of e-book, Ehrenfeld demanding situations traditional understandings of “solving” environmental difficulties and provides a appreciably new set of techniques to realize sustainability. The book is based upon this new definition: sustainability is the chance that people and different existence will flourish in the world eternally. There are hindrances to this hopeful imaginative and prescient, although, and overcoming them would require us to rework our habit, either separately and jointly. Ehrenfeld identifies not easy cultural attributes—such because the endless intake that characterizes sleek life—and outlines functional steps towards constructing sustainability as a mind-set. by way of targeting the “being” mode of human life instead of at the unsustainable “having” mode we hang to now, he asserts, a sustainable international is inside our succeed in. (20080930)

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Extra resources for Sustainability by Design: A Subversive Strategy for Transforming Our Consumer Culture

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Immersion in the modernist cultural paradigm has disaffected human beings in three critical domains of living. • • • The human, arising out of our (lost) sense of what it is to be a human being, The natural, arising out of our (lost) sense of our place in the natural world, and The ethical, arising out of our (lost) sense of responsibility for our actions and our relationships to others. Evidence of these lost senses abounds in the form of ever-increasing levels of unsatisfying and wasteful consumption, family and personal breakdown, litigiousness, and environmental degradation, and in what many see as banality and shallowness in public and private life in general.

H. L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy About ten years ago I participated in a workshop on industrial ecology and the service sector. This was one of an annual series that was sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering to delve into the then-emerging field of industrial ecology and to look for opportunities to improve ecosystem health. Industrial ecology is based on the idea that healthy ecosystems can also serve as a metaphor for sustainable human socioeconomic systems. One of the central themes in this field is the closing of material loops—in other words, recycling most everything we use in the same way materials flow in natural systems.

Even if we tolerate or ignore their condition, can we call our own life sustainable? Questions like these have been raised in the public sphere in every historical era, but at this moment they seem more critical than ever. One reason again falls back on technology. Never before have humans possessed so much power to affect the world and all life forms with both positive and increasingly negative consequences. These three distinctions—reality, rationality, and technology—are central to culture of modernity.

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