Twine in the Baler (fwd)
Sun Jan 15 21:46:41 EST 1995
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>From: bobw at ncatfyv.uark.edu (Bob Wilson)
Subject: Twine in the Baler
Date: 15 Jan 1995 00:44:11 -0000
One of my favorite writers has been, and continues to be,
David Orr at Oberlin College in Ohio. In a recent issue of
_Conservation_Biology_ (Vol. 8, No. 4, Dec. 1994), Dr. Orr offered
an essay entitled "Twine in the Baler" that explored some valid
concerns of "Sustainability". He observed that "The subject of
sustainability has become a growth industry", and reminded us
that, as in politics, people or institutions frequently assume the
cloak of sustainability "... often not to solve problems but only
to appear as if doing so".
Dr. Orr then goes on to offer some suggestions as to how we
could get serious about sustainability. These include:
1. ".. raising difficult and unpolitic questions about the
domination of the economy by large corporations and their
present immunity from effective public control.
2. ".. a radical reconsideration of the present laissez
faire direction of technology.
3. ".. a considerable change in how we think about our
responsibilities as citizens."
What he is talking about is how we - as mentors, teachers,
and role models of sustainability - need to work harder to change
our laws, change our methods of assessing both old and new
technologies, and to change our social priorities of moral thought
and responsibility. He urges us to expand our ".. perception of
self-interests to include our membership in the large enterprise
of life over a longer sweep of time and doing so with all the
emotionally driven rationality we can muster". He closes the
essay with the gentle admonishment that we, as teachers, mentors,
and role models of sustainability, need to know what it is we
stand for - and to communicate that conviction more convincingly.
If you value the word "sustainable" placed out there in front
of your particular discipline - be it agriculture, development,
forestry, or ecosystem management - you would do well to read
Orr's essay and to consider doing more than just filing it away.
bobw at ncatfyv.uark.edu
Any opinions expressed above belong solely to the author.
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