What does Sustainability Mean to You?

What does Sustainability Mean to You?

Sustainability is the ability to sustain one’s self indefinitely.

So sustainability requires the practice of

  • being aware of the consequences of your actions

  • and planning to use resources only to the extent that the system can support that use

  • meeting your desires without harming the ability of other parts of our life-support system – called Planet Earth,  to meet their desires either now or in the future.

As the detailed interdependencies of all Life on Earth are not known, the protection of the diversity of our eco-systems would be the sensible course for those who want to sustain live on our only planet for more than a few months because different organisms will have different survival rates in the changing environment that is the result of the changes in the universe and the actions of men.

Everything you do either damages your ability to sustain your life or enhances it regardless of whether you know about it or not.

For example paving over your garden has the harmful effects like not letting rain soak into the ground so

  • increases the risk of flooding  – which also transports the poisons from land to the rivers that are your water supply
  • increases health risks as increasing rain run off rates causes the sewage treatment works to overflow so pump raw sewage into the rivers
  • prevents the replacement the water supply in aquifers
  • increases the rate of soil drying out which causes ground shrinking that causes your property to subside
  • increases the rate of climate change by killing the organisms that live in the soil that absorb &store carbon dioxide from the air
  • changing the land use also effects the weather system by altering the radiation that is picked up in photographs from planes & satellites. Urban areas are now 4c warmer than the surrounding areas so shift the weather pattens creating heavier storms

The policies of the Political Establishment have had predictable yet unintentional effects on the sustainability of the world such as the policy “that you are not worth considering if you are not as wealthy or as powerful as me” which led to the slave trade (destroying the native cultural knowledge of how to live sustainably in different eco-systems), colonization  and the associated wars to rob people of their land & resources and forcing the survivors to either move to less productive and more fragile areas such as commons or drought prone hillsides or to move to urban areas and hope to sell enough to buy the food that is exported from their homeland.

Another harmful policy is that of subsidizing waste production by

  • allowing businesses to deduct the costs of packaging & marketing from any tax they pay (so they can make bigger nominal profits & can more easily afford to buy the support of the Establishment)
  • getting Local Authorities to litter pick & collect rubbish to store in the holes of the mineral extraction companies
  • making ordinary consumers pay for waste with their health & financially 3 times over – in the price of the product, in the Council Tax & in the extra taxes to cover the cost of the tax subsidies for the producers
  • Not making the waste producer responsible for storage after consumer use so they have no incentive to use resources efficiently or to enable recycling  which is why most food comes in non-recyclable containers

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