August 12, 2012

Manufactured landscapes in the modern world

I think the environmental movement has failed in that it has used the stick too much; it’s used the apocalyptic tone too much; it hasn’t sold the positive aspects of being environmentally concerned and trying to pull us out.” (Edward Burtynsky)

This 30-minute video is a fascinating look at manufacturing and the effect urban activity has on our world.  More importantly, it presents the idea that we can have this conversation in a positive, affirming context.  

NO NO don't fall asleep!  I know it sounds like a boring drag of a subject- but I promise, you already like it.  Have you ever been to a "Secret Santa" party?  Aside from the fact that it sounds vaguely lewd, Secret Santa is when everyone brings a generic gift, and everyone leaves with a gift.  Ok, hold that thought.

I do not fit the description of an "environmentalist" or an "environmental activist."  I hate fighting- HATE it.  I can't really imagine myself as an agitator. That said, I am an enthusiast for the benefits of responsible urban renewal/development.  In particular, I am passionate about the necessity for rebuilding historical gathering areas in places like downtown Hattiesburg, MS. 

All of these ideas- and many of our other current concerns and topics of debate- orbit a single thought: sustainable activity.  Without it, we don't evolve.  We devolve.  

When a system is self-sustaining, it operates freely within its own set of available resources.  The sustainable system takes what it needs, with the most minimal impact on the environment that surrounds it.  But most importantly, the sustainable system evolves.  It is designed to succeed, because it gives more than, or an amount that is equal to, what it takes.  

Just like Secret Santa, if ten people come to a party with gifts, and eleven people- or fifteen or 100-are invited to "play the game" of exchanging gifts, the game devolves into failure.  Someone who gave does not receive, because someone who received did not give. Bummer!

By how we choose to live, we are currently having an impact on the planet.  In order to reverse this, we will not only have to balance our own impact, we will have to repair more to make up for those who will take, and not give.  That's a fact.  But no more gloom-and-doom talk about the apocalyptic disaster we are creating. I would like to support change, and in particular those brilliant people who are teaching us, if we are willing to learn, how to work toward taking less, and giving more.  

You may want to check out, a stimulating blog with all kinds of positive sustainable conversation.  

Let's have a discussion about sustainability.  

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