Sustainability is a Personal Transformation

Many people from a wide range of professions and including members of my own family are under the impression that the indicators used by scientists to talk about the hazards of climate change and the effects of global warming are just part of a normal pattern and while we are on a downward slope just now, it’s a dip leading to an upturn as we adjust some of our behaviors, push technology, and extract natural gas as the alternative to our oil depletion problems.

Here are two videos featuring the natural scientist, William Steffen, that I recommend to these many people who are being unduly influenced by shows on TV to include the History channel that take a dim view of the science and pass on information that is not supported by any kind of evidence or actual experience.

In the first, Economic Transformation Not Enough, Professor Steffen talks about how we are “eating into the capital of the Earth” and increasingly becoming more self aware about what is happening, climate change being an example and bidiversity loss another major one. He identifies flash points where too fast and too great of change may lead to collapse, and at the end emphasizes that he believes the future wil depend on some very fundamental things, not just on economic instruments or new rules and regulations, but the nature of our aspirations, our values, our preferences and our choices. It will take nothing less than a transformation to avoid a collapse scenario.

The second, Shaping the Future, is less facts, less lecture, less information, but more optimism, still emphasizing transformation.

I agree with the Professor and am working on to be a “wikipedia” of sustainability advocates to those who are searching on the Web for information about sustainability – challenges and opportunities. I feel very strongly that by bringing the unfiltered voices, rather than text, to the fore the values, aspirations, preferences and choices of those transforming our society will be heard and shared along with the ideas, programs, initiatives, theories, rules, instruments, and products of change.  Our emphasis, though, is on the people, not organizations, not networks, not institutions. Ultimately, the transformation starts with each of us becoming aware and changing our lifestyles.  This is a theme heard across the sustainability landscape and captured on, the voices of sustainability.  It’s all about You.