Sustainability & Integral Issues

Speakers cover sustainability, ecology, ecosystems, whole systems thinking, and related integral issues. John Muir famously observed that “when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” This section is devoted to speakers who integrate multiple issues and who bring the parts together into larger wholes.

Many environmental issues are in reality highly interconnected. Energy conservation and renewable energy are frequently linked to climate change and green building. Likewise, community design and land use planning are often related to global warming, air pollution, and transportation. Agriculture, water supply, and protecting nature are similarly related. The connections are many, and this section is focused on such relationships.

Speakers’ Books On Sustainability
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Sustainability. Wikipedia defines sustainability as “the capacity to endure. In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For humans it is the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, which in turn depends on the wellbeing of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources.” The UN’s Brundtland Commission said “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” See L. Hunter Lovins, Denis Hayes, Huey Johnson, Debra Rowe, Rob Abbott, Dan Chiras, Pete McCloskey, John Perlin, Paul Ehrlich, Chris Maser, Carl Frankel, and Doug La Follette.

Ecology & Ecosystems. This topic involves the relations of organisms and their interactions with the environment. Ecosystems include the combined physical and biological components of an environment. An ecosystem is generally an area within the natural environment in which physical factors, such as rocks and soil, function together along with interdependent organisms, such as plants and animals, within the same habitat to create a stable system. Central to the ecosystem concept is the idea that living organisms interact with every other element in their local environment. See Paul Ehrlich, Wallace ‘J’ Nichols, John Seed, Peter Bronski, Reese Halter, Alfredo Quarto, George Divoky, Jim Bowyer, and Tim Foresman.

Whole Systems & Systems Thinking. Understanding sustainability – the need for it and the path to it – is strongly related to thinking about the world in whole systems terms. See William G. Reed, Bob Doppelt, Gil Friend, John Renesch, Medard Gabel, Dan Chiras, Daniel Dancer, Jeff Hohensee, and Gwen Hallsmith.

Activism & Civic Engagement. Citizens urging (and applying pressure to) government agencies and public officials as well as corporations and business leaders is a time honored and effective means of promoting change. Civic engagement can also mean volunteer mobilization and voluntary action to implement needed steps. See Rob Caughlan, Mark Dubois, Denis Hayes, Ric O’Barry, David Helvarg, Michel Gelobter, Rick Johnson, Dune Lankard, Diane MacEachern, Walter McGuire, Bill Shireman, Gloria Flora, Raj Patel, Zoe Weil, John Marshall Roberts, Jeff Hohensee, Duane Elgin, Ellis Jones, David Steinman, Allen Green, and Ted Smith.

Politics & Sustainability. Any successful transition to sustainability will require supportive governmental policies and programs, and that in turn will require getting leaders elected at all levels and across the political spectrum who understand and will do what is needed. Once such leaders hold office, continuously lobbying and informing them is critical to keep them moving and support them in moving in helpful directions. See Rob Caughlan, Terry Tamminen, Mike Harcourt, Denis Hayes, Roger Ballentine, Pete McCloskey, Raymond Bradley, Walter McGuire, Michel Gelobter, Kate Troll, Peter Bronski, Rick Johnson, Diane MacEachern, and Dotty LeMieux.

Environmental Economics. Our economy is entirely dependent on a healthy and sustainable environment, and a sustainable future means rebuilding and restructuring our economy so that is sits on a foundation of environmental sustainability. See Eban Goodstein, Raj Patel, Michel Gelobter, Yoram Bauman, Gil Friend, Bill Shireman, L. Hunter Lovins, Chris Maser, Quiet Riot, and Kate Troll.

Women & Sustainability. Women make many choices and have many opportunities to contribute to the transition to a more sustainable world. They may also have special and especially powerful motives to make such contributions. See Diane MacEachern, Ann Goodman, Summer Rayne Oakes, and Rob Verchick.

Speakers’ Books On Sustainability
& Integral Issues Here >>

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