ES 116 Sustainable Communities
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. What would you like to do?
What are the three elements of sustainability?
(the 3 E's)
- 1) Environment
- 2) Equity or society (social justice)
- 3) Economy (productivity)
What is the definition sustainability?
Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
What percent of people lived in cities in 1900?
What percent of people live in cities (as of 2000)?
What are two kinds of limits? (Meadows)
What are source limits?
- Limits on renewable and non-renewable resources.
- ex: Limit on water cycle's ability
What is a sink limit?
- Where stuff is dumped.
- Ex: Soil-limits.
- Ex 2: If CO2 is the concern, the atmosphere is the sink; limiting factor.
What are two categories of limits? (Herman Daly)
- 1. Bio-physical
- 2. Ethico-social
Which are examples of non-sustainable behaviors?
A) A, B, and D
B) Replanting trees
C) Dumping waste faster than nature can absorb and recycle them
D) Pumping water from aquifers faster than they can replenish
E) Cutting a forest quicker than it grows.
A) A, B, and D are all three are examples of non-sustainable behaviors
(this multiple choice question has been scrambled)
What is the definition of growth?
An increase in physical size
What is the definition of development?
To realize the potentialities of, to bring to a fuller, greater, or better state
What is the difference between growth and development?
Growth means to get bigger. Development means to get better.
Donella Meadows says, "The planet Earth develops, diversifies, evolves. It does not grow. The same must be ultimately true of the human economy, if it is to be sustained on and by this planet."
What does she mean by this?
- Sustainable growth is neither desirable nor possible.
- Sustainable development, providing more services to human beings while putting less load on the environment, is entirely possible, if we develop the words to talk about it, understand it, act on it, and bring it into being
What was the fist documented city to achieve a population of 1 million people?
Ebenezer Howard, Patrick Geddes, and Lewis Mumford saw the overcrowding of early industrial cities-with problems of sanitation, services, pollution, and public health.
What was their solution and why did it lead to greater environmental pollution?
A new balance between city and country. Populations were decentralized into planned new communities in the countryside. Didn't work because automobiles weren't accounted for.
What main planning theme emerged in the 19th century?
The balance between city and nature
What does Economy (1 of the 3 elements of sustainability) mean in "Origins of Sustainability?"
- Notion of economic growth and the limitations of economics in regulating human and natural systems.
- John Stuart Mill raised notion that a steady-state economy is more realistic than endless growth/production/consumption
What is the meaning of Equity/society (1 of the 3 elements of sustainability) in "Origins of Sustainability?"
Why is it said to be harder to implement than environmental cleanup?
Critics realized 20th century development plans were worsening inequities rather than improving them.
Equity among people directly challenges the structure of wealth within the nations
View of humans as apart from nature and managing natural resources for their own use
Nature has intrinsic value and should be protected for its own sake
Advocated by the Sierra Club (founded by John Muir)
Profound human responsibility to care for and heal natural systems. (Aldo Leopold)
What is Sustainable Development?
- Strategy for improving the quality of life while preserving the environmental potential for the future, of living off interest rather than consuming natural capital.
- Economic & Environmental goals are inextricably linked
- Natural resources are for human use, but they must be replenished directly or indirectly with a substitute (after careful consideration)
- Using resources reasonably and efficiently. Prevent pollution in the first place
The Limits to Growth: 1st Conclusion
If the present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next 100 years.
The most probable result will be a sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity.
The Limits to Growth: 2nd Conclusion
It is possible to alter these growth trends and to establish a condition of ecological and economic stability that is sustainable far into the future. The state of global equilibrium could be designed so that the basic material needs of each person on earth are satisfied and each person has an equal opportunity to realize his or her individual human potential.
The Limits to Growth: 3rd Conclusion
If the world's people decide to strive for this second outcome rather than the first, the sooner they begin working to attain it, the greater will be their chances for success.
What is meant by: "The future, to be viable at all, must be one of drawing back, easing down, healing." ?
Poverty cannot be ended by material growth; it will have to be addressed while the material human economy contracts.
The Limits to Growth: 3rd Conclusion
A sustainable society is still technically and economically possible. It could be much more desirable than a society that tries to solve its problems by constant expansion. The transition to a sustainable society requires a careful balance between long-term and short-term goals and an emphasis on sufficiency, equity, and quality of life rather than on quantity of output. It requires more than productivity and more than technology; it also requires maturity, compassion, and wisdom.
- A sustainable society is technically/economically possible.
- Requires balance of long/short term goals
- Emphasis on sufficiency/equity/quality of life rather than quantity of output
- Requires maturity/compassion/wisdom
(REVISED)The Limits to Growth: 2nd Conclusion
This decline is not inevitable. 2 necessary changes.
1. Comprehensive revision of policies and practices that perpetuate growth in material consumption and in population.
2. Rapid, drastic increase in the efficiency with which materials and energy are used.
(REVISED)The Limits to Growth: 1st Conclusion
Human use of many essential resources and generation of many kinds of pollutants have already surpassed rates that are physically sustainable. Without significant reductions in material and energy flows, there will be in the coming decades an uncontrolled decline in per capita food output, energy use, and industrial production.
What is the ultimate challenge to the energy and creativity of the human race?
A beter world is possible by the...
- Acceptance of physical limits
- "Easing down" from unsustainability isn't a sacrifice, but an opportunity to stop battering against the earth's limits
- Start transcending self-imposed/unnecessary limits in human institutions, mindsets, beliefs, and ethics.
The authors close their book with 5 "tools" that are generally not mentioned in most supposedly "serious" studies of what we must do:
What is the greatest problem in the current social system?
What are the basic factors most likely to limit growth?
- Agricultural production
- Natural Resources
- Industrial Production
Why was the Limits to Growth work unique?
1st time cpu tech & scientific method were used to analyze the human future
Why/how did some writers oppose the Limits to Growth?
Argued technology, economics and human ingenuity would help humanity surmount growth-related problems.
What does it mean that, the world entered a period"overshoot?"
- People are unsustainble levels of resource consumption, pollution, and population
Plan B components?
- Reduce carbon emissions: 80% by 2020 (reduce income tax, raise carbon tax)
- Stabilize Population: 8 Billion by 2040
- Eradicate poverty: Primary education for everyone, health care, women's access to reproductive health care/family planning
- Restore earth's natural systems: Natural capital (rivers, air, etc...)
Key sustainable indicators? (4)
Key sustainable indicators are...
What is GPI and what does it take into account?
- GPI(Genuine Progress Indicator) 8 things it takes into account:
- 1)resource depletion
- 2)income distribution
- 3)housework and nontraditional transaction 4)changes in leisure time
- 6)unemployment and underemployment 7)long term environmental damage
- 8)lifespan of consumer durability and structure
Things that can't go on forever, don't.
What are key things to City Metabolism?
Renewable: Food, water,goods, energy
Garret's 1st Law of Ecology
You can never do merely one thing
Five criteria for sustainable community
Indicators must address carrying capacity, link communities environmental social economic well being, focus on long range view, measure local sustainability not at the expense of global sustainbility
Four steps of sustainability according to Natural Step
- 1) Eliminate our contribution to systematic increases in resource use from Earth's crust
- 2) Eliminate our contribution to systematic increases in concentrations of substances produced by society
- 3)Eliminate our contribution to systematic increases in deforestation, over-harvesting, and over-fishing
- 4)Meeting human needs by going above and beyond the previous three objectives
What would you like to do?
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