(Biology + Chemistry + Physics + Folklife + Arts +Sociology ) X Ethics

Sandy the Superstorm has revived people’s concerns about global warming. About time. But while people wait to be rescued, and others struggle to bring services back on line, we all need to look at how to move forward from this point.

It doesn’t do any good to blame anyone, though we do need to recognize bad decisions so we don’t make them again.  It doesn’t really matter if it’s man-made, or if it’s God’s will, it’s happening.  However, I have to ask my fellow Christians who believe this is God’s plan, isn’t he the Father of All. Would a benevolent God destroy all the rest of the planet, all of his beautiful creation, just to punish one form of life?  When He gave Adam “dominion,” over the planet, I don’t think he met to dominate, but to be a steward of this world. How have we done in this regard so far? 

So moving forward we have to look at ways that we can retool our way of living. Yes, there will be some sacrifice involved. I know that it’s not popular to tell people that, but given that our forefathers fought World Wars to protect the human race from evil, shouldn’t we sacrifice our indulgence to protect The World from our consumption and carelessness?

Each older generation looks at the younger generation with some frustration that they haven’t stepped into the same shoes as their parents, but the upcoming young people are left without some basic tools that they need to continue. Even without climate change, just the difference between the 1% and the 99% will make it difficult for them , but they have been very well educated in being consumers, not in being producers.  Some of them are finding personal power in learning those skills, from cooking to carpentry, farming to fashion. Others are still wallowing in the delusion of worrying about not being able to buy the newest fashion or the trendiest computer game.  We need to bring back the practical skills that enabled families to be more independent, more engaged in their communities and actually build the nation that we are blessed with.  Unfortunately many people with those skills are aging, and will take their talents and experiences with them, unless we create programs that put young and old together.

If we are to have a truly sustainable future, we need to look at various models, because no model is universal.  But if we look at Maslow’s hierarchy at the base level, “shelter, water and food,” are essential.  But sustainability is not about survival. It needs to consider perpetuality, not immediacy.
It is possible to survive, but not have a life worth living. Living on the street, living in poverty and the crime and violence that shares those streets, shows what that life is like.  We need to build in the idea of
“maintaining a quality of life,” in that we use foresight in our plans.  Government doesn’t usually use foresight very well, but humans have that capability. We need to bring that ability into our planning so that that sustainability truly is “whatever it takes to keep living here.” *

*North Country Sustainability Center’s definition, as provided by an 8 year old from Ashburnham, MA.