S u s t a i n - a b i l i t y

[to nourish, give sustenance to] [to be able]  

"A sustainable community uses its resources to meet current needs while ensuring that adequate resources are available for future generations. It involves all its citizens in an integrated, long-term planning process to protect the environment, expand economic opportunities, and meet social needs."

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Enough of the Vision already! What are you doing?

by Carolyn Chase
number of local civic, academic, business and governmental institutions have performed studies related to sustainability or undertaken long-term planning initiatives. These studies show a consensus of interest in quality of life, long-term economic health, and sustainability by San Diego's government, academic, and business leaders.
But none of these studies or initiatives has established an ongoing forum for education about and involvement in creating a sustainable region.
To address this need, the newly-formed Sustainability Network of San Diego held an introductory forum this past November. Participants included homemakers, farmers, ecologists, organizers, computer professionals, entrepreneurs, members of the military, energy engineers, air quality experts, architects, urban planners, academics and many others. Their key common interest was to take action to bring sustainability into actual practice.
A panel of presenters shared local examples of projects where principles are being applied that move us in a more sustainable direction. These projects included large scale industrial applications, pollution prevention, affordable housing solutions, green building redesign, and organic agriculture applications on both sides of the border.
Comments from attendees included the following:
" very insightful for me to formulate and reformulate my views and see how technology and industry/business can work towards sustainability. It was a very positive place to discuss sustainability and gain new concepts about making it workable."

"It's an interesting and exciting group, good energy toward making things happen."
"It's encouraging to connect with a network focusing on environmental, health and people issues."

"I'm looking forward to more networking in the future. It's how we can learn both what people are doing and understand to how to help others do it too."
Everyone was inspired by the types of projects moving forward. ET will report on more of these projects in future issues. If you'd like to find out more, the Sustainability Network of San Diego is holding monthly meetings on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 6:30pm. Call 272-7370 for location of the January 10th meeting.

History of sustainable development

This "History" is excerpted from a letter from Mark Spalding, an environmental attorney involved in the process of fulfilling on the promises of sustainable development.
" (according to Reinhard Bar-tholomaei of the Department of Law of the University of Giessen, Germany) Dr. Volker Hauff, a member of the Brundtland-Commission, has said that the only definition that was acceptable to all members of the Commission was the famous: 'sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.' Every attempt, within the work of the Commission, to put a more concrete meaning to the term failed. Instantly, the Commission started arguing. At first the Commission did not realize that it was about to formulate an abstract solution to the global problems. On their agenda was one sector after the other. In each of them, they could only agree when applying the inter-generational dimension. In the end, it was clear to them that sustainable development, or striking a balance between environment and development, is identical with inter-generational equity.
"Sustainable Development will become a concept such as justice or tolerance. It will always be abstract. There are many ways to achieve or administer justice, just look at the differences between the various legal systems. Yet, no one claims that justice prescribes the one or the other system. It is the same with sustainable development. There are many different ways to act responsibly towards present and future generations. The problem is, it has to be done rather than talked about."