Tag Archives: sustainability

Redistribution of Wealth an Unsustainable Approach to Global Sustainability

Although an interesting conceptual approach, serious limitations of this study render it not very useful for addressing real-world problems. No one, including these researchers, has any idea of the true extent of global “planetary boundaries” nor the planetary boundaries of nations. As with virtually all sustainability studies the metrics applied are arbitrary and unvalidated. It makes for an interesting conceptual thought exercise but is not appropriate (and misleading) as a decision-making tool.
Daniel W. O’Neill, Andrew L. Fanning, William F. Lamb and Julia K. Steinberger. A good life for all within planetary boundaries. Nature Sustainability, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-018-0021-4 
Humanity faces the challenge of how to achieve a high quality of life for over 7 billion people without destabilizing critical planetary processes. Using indicators designed to measure a ‘safe and just’ development space, we quantify the resource use associated with meeting basic human needs, and compare this to downscaled planetary boundaries for over 150 nations. We find that no country meets basic needs for its citizens at a globally sustainable level of resource use. Physical needs such as nutrition, sanitation, access to electricity and the elimination of extreme poverty could likely be met for all people without transgressing planetary boundaries. However, the universal achievement of more qualitative goals (for example, high life satisfaction) would require a level of resource use that is 2–6 times the sustainable level, based on current relationships. Strategies to improve physical and social provisioning systems, with a focus on  sufficiency and equity, have the potential to move nations towards sustainability, but the challenge remains substantial.

Politicized Sustainability

“Politicized Sustainability is the untenable, even dangerous variety. It relies on ideological assertions and theoretical models as an alternative to actual outside-our-windows reality and evidence. Like “dangerous man-made climate change,” its real purpose is gaining greater agitator and government control over people’s energy use, lives, livelihoods, liberties, and living standards. It reflects an abysmal understanding of basic energy, economic, resource extraction, manufacturing, and human rights realities.” click here

Increasing Energy Prices Undermine Infrastructure Sustainability

“Glencore and other major players in Australia’s mining and heavy industry sectors are threatening to shut mines and factories, and divert all investment elsewhere, unless Aussie energy prices fall back to internationally competitive levels.” click here

California’s Unsustainable Infrastructure the Result of an Unsustainable State Government

“The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FECR) forensic audit of the Oroville Dam Spillway crisis project found that failures were due to inadequate California Department of Water Resources (DWR) maintenance, repair of cracks, thin concrete slabs, poor drainage, and use of weathered rock.” click here

Sustainability is not Sustainable

Anaerobic Digesters Unsustainable for Biomethane Production, UK

“Their supporters claim they are a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way of producing gas to heat homes while curbing greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Anaerobic Digester and Bioresources Association (ADBA), the industry’s lobby group, they will lead to ‘stable energy prices, fewer carbon dioxide emissions, and a financial saving for homes and businesses across the country’.

But the reality is this supposedly green energy source comes at a heavy cost to taxpayers and to the environment it is supposed to protect. An investigation by this newspaper has revealed that: …” click here for news article

A Water System That is Unsustainable Will Deteriorate, Fail

A combination of poor economic policy and too much pork-barrel funding of projects results in unsustainable infrastructure.

“Deep inside a 70-year-old water-treatment plant, drinking water for Iowa’s capital city is cleansed of harmful nitrates that come from the state’s famously rich farmland.” click here