What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

Blog Archive

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Island economies and sustainability

When I lived in Bermuda before, I was impressed with the nature of the community here. Even though the economy was, and unfortunately still is, dependent on international finance and tourism the local self reliance of the populace is expressed in many other ways and represents a well of resiliency that I hope they will be able to draw on as the economy tanks. As I perused the Energy Green Paper just published by the Government, with important steps suggested to increase resiliency, I happened across a post on one of the blog's I follow that is pertinent. Check out Worldchanging.com.

Here is an excerpt,

" Islands may at first sight seem an extreme example for all kinds of dynamics, and therefore not so relevant to the vast majority of people who live on the larger, continent-sized islands we call the "mainland." But as we have seen, this is such a wrong way to think as to be dangerous. Islands are the early warning systems of our planet. And they can be our "sustainability laboratories."

What's required of islands, in order to achieve long-term economic prosperity in ecologically healthy ways, is the same thing that is required of all of us: a willingness to understand limits, a willingness to live within them, a willingness to innovate and change so that the systems we create, as humans, fit comfortably together with the natural systems in which we are embedded.

That willingness is fundamentally an ethical choice. The word "ethics" does not mean that it is entirely optional: the survival of our species requires that certain behaviors be cultivated (cooperation, invention) while others are discouraged (murder, freeloading). Just as people in an island community live together in limited space, the "musts" of sustainability live tightly together with an emerging vision of ourselves as people who seek not just economic development or even sustainable development, but good development. Good people create good islands.

Good people are also at work all over the world, trying to make a better world. Islands can help show us the way. If islands cannot be made sustainable, nothing can. If islands can, then everything can.

And islands can." - Alan AtKisson

Island economies are microcosm's of the planetary economy and are therefore relevant to us all as we press against the outer limits of ecosystem services that we all rely on. Will the planet go the way of Easter island due to our negligence?

Thanks to jolle.se for the imaginary island picture.

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