Posted by steve on September 12, 2004
Next question. You are in a community that is not acting in a sustainable way and you want to focus people onto sustainability ..how do you do that?
I want to talk to someone and go somewhere to find the answer to this. How do you bring people together from diverse areas and focus on sustainability. And how do you formulate a sustainability challenge? I believe that advanced problem-solving techniques could be used if only we could formulate the assignment succinctly.
I see a nice polished bench in a gigantic mall, familiar from last time. A large door, like an airport entrance is in front of me. To the sides are other lifts, exits and shops.
Which way shall I go?
Bright light shines through the entrance in front of me so I exit through that.
An escalator takes me up a flight to a covered walkway. I see gardens underneath, connecting out to green areas beyond. The semicircular roof, made of glass lets in a lot of light. In itself a good invention.
Round the next corner and down an escalator I descend into a garden. A fountain coming from a Roman-urn like sculpture sends water into the pond around it. Goldfish swim under Lilly leaves floating on its surface. Look down at the small bushes surrounding the pond and out of the corner of my eye I see a park bench. I go over and sit down.
A guy turns up, wearing a red shirt, sandals, he is bearded and looks a bit bohemian.
“You wanted to know about something?”
“Yes I did, I need to know how to focus on sustainability.”
“Come with me.”
I follow after him into a grey lift, which descends not vertically, but at angles downwards. It opens onto a corridor.
I follow him down another corridor into a large underground area that looks like a control room of some kind. He invites me into a meeting room at the side.
We sit down opposite each other. I check the room out: white board, flip charts, simple chairs, nothing out of the ordinary.
How do you focus on sustainability, how do you get people together to work on sustainability? He looks down at his paper.
“I don’t know”
“Why not?” I ask.
“You asked how you focus on sustainability,” he replies.
I ask him laconically “And what is that outside then?)
The room monitors footprint, collects data and makes it available.
The data is updated hourly.
A large screen shows weather patterns, another, ozone layer status. A guy sitting at a terminal is collecting data via the Internet. Indicators as such are collected and collated.
Another operator is compiling a table of fuel use, carbon dioxide release.
Another population figures, and other water quality. In real time monitoring. A direct feed is available for TV stations and other media.
“Why did you bring me here, my question was about focus?” I exclaim.
He replies “This is one way at least, it is very easy to do, and use the data for more studies.”
The Ecological Footprint is a tool for measuring and analyzing human natural resource consumption and waste output within the context of nature’s renewable and regenerative
capacity (or biocapacity). It represents a quantitative assessment of the biologically
productive area (the amount of nature) required to produce the resources (food, energy, and materials) and to absorb the wastes of an individual, city, region, or country.
As you can see the footprint of the population of the world exceeded the world’s capacity in the 70s. It is that serious.
I work it out;” But OK my question was how do you focus on sustainability and the answer is focus on footprint. I did not ask how you focus on solving sustainability issues.”
“You didn’t ask that and therefore did not get an answer.”
“Anything else?” I ask.
He draws the diagram of the four circles of sustainability. Enterprises, Communities, Individuals and the environment itself.
He explains how all four circles affect the footprint and all need monitoring.
I have at least some answers. I thank him and take my leave.
END OF TAPESCRIPT
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