a new study says, commissioned by the Government's chief climate change adviser, Ross Garnaut, and conducted by the University of Melbourne's Energy Research Institute, Australia.
[forthcoming; draft in preparation]
The State of Sustainability (SOS)TM 2010 - A Question of Interpretaton, Focus, and Method
The present sustainability landscape is littered with assertions, concepts, ideas, proposals, solutions, denials. The image is confusing and unfocused. Direction and method are uncertain. The anxiety of some people over urgency is as palpable as the calm dismissiveness of others over the perceived hoax of climate change and a sustainability challenge. The concern-de-jour is climate change even though it is only the visible front line of the larger sustainability challenge. In true atomistic fashion, many proposed solutions hold only the prospect of solving one problem while unittingly creating a multiplicity of others as the law of unintended concequences will play out for ill-tested actions undertaken in complex systems. Scratching the surface of this 2010 sustainabilty landscape a little further, one enounters a more pernicious underlying fallacy--an only semi conscious perception (even paradigm) that societal issues are fundamentally unrelated, acts of god or other uncontrollable sources, unconnected from society's capacity to nourish and reproduce its ever-growing self, and a necessary trade-off for economic jobs, survival, and general well being,-even luxuary--of the "chosen" or "made" few. As we enter 2010, society views its ever expanding set of problems as somehow individually solvable with mitigations of emission per unit and a slowing of rate of increase at some just-in-time, but unpredictable, moment and without consequence to its increasingly limited and diminishing prosperity and security.
So what's a society to do? Does anything even need to be done? Is that question XXX in 2010 based on the underlying atomistic false paradigm, but a blasphemous simplicity in the face of events, impacts, trends, and prospects to others?
The question boils down to defining the sustainability problem. Is the sustainability problem simply the existence of the myriad of environmental, economic, and social problems society faces, and their apparent expanding trend? They are obviously the enviornmental, economic, and social problems. Adding the concept of "interrelatedness," and the tripartitie model of many susatianbility definitiions, they become a constellation of interrelated problems that appear to be the sustainability problem. But is that really the essence of the sustainabiltiy problem or is there something more fundamental that is the root problem?