Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Truly Sustainable Society: The Inspiration for this Blog

I believe that humanity's biggest challenge is creating a truly sustainable society.  Over the past few years, sustainability has become a popular buzz word as "being green" has become the new trend.  Yet true sustainability involves so much more than merely making environmentally friendly decisions.  To achieve true sustainability, we must completely transform our ecological, social, and economic values.

In this blog, I plan to focus mainly on ecological sustainability.  Global climate change presents us with an unprecedented crisis, and we need to quickly transition from fossil fuels to clean sources of energy if we are to avoid truly catastrophic consequences.  Our choices now will determine the quality of life experienced by countless generations to come; we have the power to choose what kind of world we will leave to our posterity.

To create a truly sustainable society, we need to develop new clean energy technologies that will provide abundant, renewable power for all of the world's population.  Energy can provide the developing world with an opportunity to overcome poverty and enjoy a higher standard of living.  Sustainable development is crucial to our quest of building a better world.

Yet as Americans, we cannot ignore the need for changes to our own lifestyles in this quest for sustainability.  We use an incredibly large amount of resources in our daily lives, but are we really happier because of our high levels of consumption?  I am very skeptical that our materialistic "American Dream" the way to finding lasting happiness.

As part of this blog, I plan to highlight my attempt at living a "no impact" lifestyle that minimizes my personal consumption.  I hope that by reducing my material possessions and greatly simplifying my daily routine, I will come to focus on what really matters to me: friends, family, and finding greater meaning in this experience we call life.  Please see Colin Beavan's to see the inspiration for this endeavor.

Finally, I hope to use this blog as a way to showcase various social justice issues, both in St. Louis and in the broader global community.  I believe that to achieve lasting peace and prosperity for the world, we must continually work to alleviate poverty, eliminate all forms of discrimination, and provide justice for all of humanity.  We must learn to truly love and care for one another, regardless of our differences in traditions or beliefs.  Only then will we have a truly sustainable society.

Can this sustainable society ever be achieved?  Perhaps not.  But that does not mean that we should not try to make it real.  Every single individual has incredible creativity and ingenuity, and we all have the power to shape the world in whatever way we see fit.  Although it will not be easy, we can choose to work towards a society that incorporates ecological, social, and economic sustainability.  I hope you will join me in this search for sustainability and this quest to create a better world.


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