The Language We Use Really Matters

One of my regular commenters, Boudewijn, wrote me after I posted the last entry. He picked up on the postscript where I mentioned a different way of placing flourishing into context. You can go back one post to see this, but I also copy his comment below: > Thanks for your post. It reminds me of your article of which the title said: “Sustainability needs to be attained, not managed.” Here sustainability seems like the quality of a system that can be attained, like equality and beauty can be described as qualities of a system. In your definition of sustainability, however, it becomes the ‘possibility’ of flourishing. Now flourishing becomes… Read More

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Changing the Subject

As I noted a few days ago, sustainability is in a lot of trouble on two fronts. One is the continuing deterioration of both the social and the environmental pieces of the system that enables us to live. The other is the failure to come to any kind of social agreement on what the problem is and what should we do about it. The second part is grounded in the way people talk about the subject of sustainability. I have grown increasingly skeptical about almost all initiatives aimed at “sustainability.” It has gotten much clearer that virtually everything being done, under this rubric, is designed to maintain an illusion. The… Read More

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Sharing Comes Before Improvement

I got back from my quick trip to Cambridge University yesterday. Recovering from jet lag is always easier coming back from Europe than going there. The conference was focused on “Integrating Industrial Sustainability.” I have posted a link to the talk below. The conference title gave me the theme for my talk, one that runs through my book and most of what I write about. The way sustainability is used in the title makes it sound like it is all about keeping industry going in the face of new threats from a failing Earth. For some, I do think that is how they do, in fact, interpret it. From others,… Read More

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The Shofar Calls–5774

Labor Day has come and gone and I promised to begin posting again. The Jewish New Year took a couple more days out of my schedule. The Jewish Holidays come this year at the earliest possible time. They will come this early once again in 2089 and then never again so early. It’s OK to begin the New Year so early, but Hanukkah starts on Thanksgiving Day, even before Black Friday. Think of a turkey stuffed with chopped liver and potato latkes! The New Year Holiday, Rosh Hashanah, is more than simply a day marked to celebrate the end of the Creation. It actually falls on the first day of… Read More

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