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What is sustainability? What is a sustainable society?

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  1. 1. Sustainability and Sustainable Development Dr. Andrew Wallace PhD
  2. 2. Overview  What do we mean; sustainability?  What do we mean; sustainable development?  Why do we need sustainability or sustainable development?  How can we achieve sustainability?
  3. 3. What do we mean; sustainability?  A dictionary definition:  of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged [Webster's]  meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. [Brundtland Commission]
  4. 4. What do we mean; sustainability?  Resources  What we have  Production  What we make  Life style  How we use it
  5. 5. What do we mean; sustainable development?  Sustainable development is a socio- ecological process characterized by the fulfilment of human needs while maintaining the quality of the natural environment indefinitely. [wikipedia]
  6. 6. What do we mean; sustainable development?  Maintain our socioeconomic system indefinitely!  Oxymoron  Our current socioeconomic system depend on exponential growth  We have finite resources
  7. 7. Why do we need sustainability?
  8. 8. Environment  Pollution  Soil erosion  Pesticides  Waste disposal How effective are efforts to combat these problems?
  9. 9. Starvation and Poverty  About 800 million people go hungry  Efforts to stop hunger, starvation and poverty in the world has come to a halt  Yet we have more food than we can eat!
  10. 10. Global Warming  Climate change  How effective are we at combating this?
  11. 11. Rain Forests  From 14% to 6%  Estimated that it could be gone by mid 21st century
  12. 12. Why do we need sustainable development?  The current socio-economic system Growth
  13. 13. The current socio-economic system People Business Government
  14. 14. How can we achieve sustainability?  Society as:  Technology  People
  15. 15. How can we achieve sustainability?  The technical aspects of society should be run by those who are experts in the technology  The people part run by true democracy
  16. 16. How can we achieve sustainability?  The technical aspects run with the following goal:  Highest possible standard of living for as long as possible
  17. 17. Highest standard of living  Units of productions managed by experts  No profit  Minimise energy  Minimise waste Balance production with demands / needs
  18. 18. For as long as possible  Minimise environmental impact Balance the needs of society with the needs of the eco-system
  19. 19. Balance
  20. 20. Balance  To balance the system we propose a system using energy rather than money  Energy is needed to run anything  Money is debt and value is subjective  Therefore not a true measure of the system  Energy credits are given equally to all citizens  They decide what is to be produced
  21. 21. Enter Technocracy!  Technocracy offers a alternative socio- economic system
  22. 22. Summary  There are a number of complex problems in the World today  The underlying cause is the current socio- economic system  Technocracy aims to replace the current system with an alternative system  Technical aspects rules by experts  No money but energy credits