Rational Sustainability

Posted by on Jul 19, 2012 in Blog, Environmental Issues, Featured Slide, RECENT POSTS, Topics | Comments

Rational Sustainability

By HYDER OWAINATI Published  July 19, 2012

Environmentalism as a platform to innovation

Stalwart supporters of the contemporary environmental movement are not driven solely by apprehensions of impending disasters or apocalyptic fears. Rather, many are cognizant of the fact that the implementations of sustainable and ecologically conscious measures will not only help to edify our society but also drive innovation that reap tangible fiscal and technological benefits. Much like how World War II, the Cold War and the Space Race helped facilitate for unprecedented technological advancements that gradually penetrated and transformed the everyday lives of the general public, environmentalism rather than the Military Industrial Complex can provide a far more affable channel to such innovation.

It is important to recognize that factors concerning the environment and global warming have materialized to become key societal issues. The efforts and influence of organizations such as the Green Building Council are expanding and progressive thinkers such as David Suzuki are praised as key national thinkers. The integration of environmentalism and mainstream industry is integral to achieving progress. However, much of the conservative community holds a derisive view to such beliefs, whereby in Canada, federal funding for the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy will reportedly cease by the end of the fiscal year.[1] Regarded as necessary budget cuts that would help alleviate stresses on the national economy, the conservative party ironically went over the publically disclosed budget by $10 billion dollars when purchasing the new fleet of F-35 fighter jets. It is evident to anyone analyzing the situation that while there is an evolution being made in the assimilation of progressive environmental and sustainable policies; present political powers are actively involved in perjuring the public and ensuring certain interests are fulfilled. While the world is suffering from a widespread economic crisis, choking off the channels of innovation in research and sustainable development is arguably not the right approach. It is of my personal opinion that rather than fear of war or opposing political ideologies, the desire to live in a clean and unpolluted environment does not only drive the development of new technologies but also act as a chief sector of employment.

As seen by the BP oil spill, human induced environmental disasters not only impact local ecosystems and wildlife but also significantly effect the economy, local businesses and chief industrial leaders. Consequently, an example of inventive solutions include researcher in nanotechnology that has led to the development of prototype micro-submarines that can absorb oil droplets in water[2]. Such research helps to reflect why investments in progressive and innovative environmental solutions are hugely significant. Other developments include concept designs of turbine free wind farms that overcome the limitations of conventional wind turbine technologies. By utilizing carbon fiber material that harness energy through swaying poles, this new approach allows for wind energy to be harnessed while avoiding substantial noise and interference with radio waves.

Furthermore, a common portrait of many environmentalists is that they promote sedition and views that are far from idealistic. However, the theory of Ecological Modernization, a concept primarily developed by prominent environmentalists, sociologists, scientists and economists from Western European nations, represents an alternative approach[3]. The theory recognizes environmentalism and ecological sustainability as a state of the art strategy that influences market dynamics and ensures economies remain competitive. Moreover, technology is recognized as a source to lesson the impacts of environmental degradation by modern industry.






[1] http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/budget-cuts-another-victory-in-tory-war-on-information-opposition/article4097001/

[2] http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-17940461

[3] Mol, A., & Sonnenfeld , D. (2007). Ecological modernisation around the world: An introduction.Environmental Politics, 6. Retrieved from https://portal.utoronto.ca/bbcswebdav/courses/Winter-2012-ENV333H1-S-LEC0101/Ecological modersnisation.pdf


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