“… There’s no Planet B …”
What does sustainability look like? Those who tuned in to WORT’s FM radio station’s “THE ACCESS HOUR” last night (Monday at 7:00 – 8:00 pm) at 89.9 FM (also available to listen to live at http://www.WORTFM.org, or through the WORTFM.org archives), would have a pretty good inkling of what sustainable living is truly all about, and why it is especially URGENT that all of us begin practicing it, NOW, since in the words of one of last year’s speakers, “there’s no planet B”.
On Monday, March 24, 2014, Madison, Wisconsin’s listener sponsored radio station, WORT-FM, aired on its “The Public Access Hour” program a show in which climate change educator and WORT volunteer Kermit Hovey interviewed a number of the presenters and participants who had attended last year’s Sustainability Summit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The quotes on this post come from the March 24th Public Access Hour show.
This year’s Sustainability Summit is called “Conserving the Future Together” and is being held in Milwaukee on March 26-28, 2014. See http://www.sustainabilitysummit.us for more information.
Last Monday’s access hour show began with Kermit Hovey interviewing Milwaukee Area Technical College’s (MATC) educator George Stone, who was the 2013 and this year’s Sustainability Summit director. In response to Hovey’s question on how he would define “sustainability”, Stone answered:
“Well, A hundred years ago, in the era of Teddy Roosevelt, we called it “conservation”. I think basically that’s what it is. And when I think of sustainability I’m not thinking primarily about sustainable financial resources, or that sort of thing, I’m thinking of the sustainability of natural resources. You know the basic necessities of life, food, water, and that requires soil for the food, all kind of the materials that Mother Earth supplies, for our advanced civilization, they’re in limited supply, we live on a finite planet, with a growing population, we need to be wise – wise use – we need to be wise and frugal in the way that we use these resources, and adopting the Native American philosophy of inter generational justice: let’s say we have a responsibility to future generations -many of the Nations consider 7 generations in the future. So that’s sustainability. It’s our moral responsibility – and I might say, parenthetically, I consider that all human activity has a moral dimension – it’s our moral responsibility to pass on a planet, and habitats on this planet, to future generations that are as close as possible to what we’ve enjoyed. Plundering the earth, and destroying for our own excess, is not justifiable.
“So sustainability I think is an expression of that in the sense that there is a moral responsibility to future generations. James Hansen, our keynote speaker today, refers to it as “inter-generational justice”. That’s my idea of “sustainability”.”
Climate scientist Michael Mann: “… there’s only one planet, right? And if we screw it up, there’s no planet “B”, and so there couldn’t be anything more important in our lives especially when we think about the sort of world we want to leave for our children and grandchildren, what could be more important than trying to find a way to live sustainably, so that we don’t leave a degraded planet for future generations?”
Go to the archives for “The Public Access Hour” for March 24, 2014 at http://www.wortfm.org for the full interview by Kermit Hovey with Michael Mann along with other speakers and participants.