Monday, December 29, 2008

Embracing Sustainability

That sustainability is the first word of the title of this blog is no accident. In stating the painfully obvious, the pursuit of sustainable production and consumption of resources is not optional. If we continue to fail to do this, the price we pay to take a sharper and sharper turn just climbs.

The financial meltdown that occurred last fall provides a textbook example of the consequences of an unsustainable greed fest fueling dark clouds on the horizon. The dark clouds do arrive, and we haven’t even begun to feel the true consequences of a mess we still don’t fully understand.

With Barack Obama as president, we perhaps have the opportunity to introduce the concept of sustainability into the political discourse of all issues we face, for it belongs there. Sustainability refers to more than the financial administration of our economies. Most apply the word to energy and the environment and the need to develop alternative energies and reduce the production of toxic waste, greenhouse gases, and plastic water bottles. In reality, sustainability applies to all issues.

Consider the notion of a sustainable Middle East. Like it or not, Israel will continue to exist. The scenarios that take Israel out of existence are simply not tenable. All with probabilities the slightest distance from zero involve nuclear war. We might as well consider the USA, England, China, Russia, or India going out of existence. We might as well talk about every religion except our own going out of existence. It is not going to happen.

Conversations calling for the elimination of a religion or a state such as Israel are unsustainable and obsolete, yet some such as Hamas and Iranian President Ahmadinejad continue to speak for it. Whatever their real intention, the result is a propensity for continued instability and violence. Israel is currently pounding Palestinians in Gaza, having killed 360 so far and injured another 1400, the deadliest operation in Gaza since Israel seized control of the coastal territory from Egypt in 1967.

The Palestinians have legitimate issues with the actions of Israel, but they and everyone around them only have a chance at a peaceful and eventually prosperous reality if they retire conversations that have no place in a future that can occur.


Blogger TexPatriate said...

If only everyone (and I use that term deliberately and not for hyperbole's sake) would learn that their rights end where someone else's begin, I think the concept of sustainability would be a much easier one. Sadly, however, it seems that current humanity believes that if whatever they have is good, more is better -- and it doesn't matter at all if that "more" belongs to someone else.

We have seen it in the financial markets, in the Sudan, in every environment that has been polluted because doing the right thing "would hurt our bottom line".

It is said that evolution means that all humans will end up with bigger brains, but I think it's working out where the increase in the amount of brain is being distributed on a sliding scale, where only a few get a boost. . .

12/29/2008 3:55 PM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

Hmmm ... you are correct, of course, vis-a-vis the "destroy Israel" rhetoric not allowing for a sustainable peace in the Middle East. Of course, most of the major actors voicing that rhetoric have a vested interest in promoting sustained _instability_ in the region.

The actions of Eqypt in the matter are what I find most interesting.

12/29/2008 4:05 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

British war correspondent Robert Fisk states the obvious so much better than most of us can.

12/29/2008 6:30 PM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

Good link, Liza.

I am not so zealous a fan of Israel as many in America. At the risk of appearing politically incorrect, I think the holocaust was used as a means to ram a particular situation through and force an outcome.

That said, forces were already building for a Jewish state in the region. However, as x4mr has said, that is now all "blood under the bridge."

Addressing the future and the present, the Israelis have made it clear again and again that they desire peace and co-existence. Israel has not called for the elimination of the Palestinians, Iraq, Iran, or any of those calling for their extinction.

Still, Israel has apparently concluded that pounding the living shit out of its adversaries is the best calculation. There is plenty of blame to go around. What I would add is that calling for the elimination of Israel and then launching a few rockets gives Israel a virtual "slaughter at will" ticket.

If they want to call attention to Israel's abuses and oppression, call attention to the abuses and the oppression.

By all means correct me if I misunderstand, but what I get from the post is that forwarding impossible and unacceptable positions (the elimination of "wrong" nations, religions, sexual preferences,...) is counterproductive.

Of course, I would like to see all Dallas Cowboy fans rounded up and incarcerated on an island far out at sea.

12/29/2008 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Observer said...

Biting social commentary of the kind I think readers here can appreciate. Knowing context changes the song.

The Arabs and the Jews, boy, too much for me.

And the thing I hate
Is staying up late
To watch some debate
On some nation's fate

Blood on the Rooftops

Better in my day, oh Lord
For when we got bored
We'd have a world war
Happy but poor

Seems Helen of Troy has found a new face.


12/30/2008 7:36 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Addressing the future and the present, the Israelis have made it clear again and again that they desire peace and co-existence.

I'm surprised you would think that. Robert Scheer addresses that issue quite well so I'll just link his article.

Perhaps we could say that peace and co-existence is desired as long as they get all of Jerusalem and all of the other land and water that they want in the Palestinian Territories.

1/02/2009 12:47 PM  

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