Sustainability key to prosperous future

Cobble Hill – What can we do?

After watching a documentary about the plight of our oceans called Finding Blue shown at a local campus, a member of the audience asked the collective question “What can we do about this?” No good answer was forthcoming at the time, but I have been thinking about what some of the answers might be.

I believe the question really means “What is sustainability and how do we achieve it?” Is it forest destruction and species extinction; is it climate change and ocean acidification? The answer of course is all of those

things and more and if we want to personally be part of the move towards sustainability, we all need to use less, waste less, drive less, and fly way less. We need to shop and buy domestic and local, small scale and organic when possible. We need to support the groups and individuals who are fighting for our future in the courts, in the press and on the ground at blockades, rallies and protests. We need to invest in the technologies that hold some promise of sustainability and divest from the corporations and institutions that promote and thrive on our unsustainable habits.

But most of all, we must elect people locally, provincially and nationally that have the vision and guts to lead us away from this edge of environmental, social, and economic collapse. Our new leaders must accept that business as usual is not working and be willing to institute some historic changes to our current self-destructing society.

And finally, we all need to accept that growth and sustainability are mutually exclusive on a finite planet, and that if our society keeps knowingly drawing down the ecological principal that future generations will need to survive, it will constitute a crime against future humanity, and be a sad epitaph indeed for our generation.

David Slade Cobble Hill