Thursday, August 02, 2007


Sustainability is a simple, yet complicated and important concept when it comes to protecting our environment.

Topics that come up these days in every paper and article include Energy, Forests, Agriculture, Water, Wildlife, Air Pollution and Natural Resources. They all share the same concern: are we destroying our environment and therefore reducing our chances of survival on the earth?

More importantly, the question we need to ask is "is our life-style sustainable on earth?"

That means:
- For how much longer we can consume so much energy before we are out?
- For how much longer we can destroy forests to create agricultural land to feed our population?
- For how much longer we can put our waste into the air and water before we endanger the life of all species?
- For how much longer we can dig into the natural resources such as oil, coal, metals, wood and even wildlife before they are all gone?
- For how much longer is this life-style sustainable?

I suppose you could say the question is not whether or not our life-style is sustainable, but for how much longer. It worries all of us: another decade, 2 more decades or best case scenario 5 more decades?

Everything has a "life cycle". We get our raw material (e.g. metals, wood) from natural resources. But what do we do when we are done with them? Do we put them back into the cycle (Re-cycling) or we bury them in a landfill where it might table many centuries before they can be used again?

What do we do with our waste? Do we just assume that atmosphere and oceans are infinite spaces to store waste? We very well know that is not the case.

How about energy? are we more dependable on semi-infinite resources such as solar, or very finite resources such as oil, nuclear (uranium) and coal?

It is all about our life-style and how much longer we'd like to survive. We need a paradigm shift.

Every time we go to the supermarket, we are about to turn on heater/air-conditioning, we are at a car dealership or the gas pump, or we are about to dump a garbage bag down the chute, we need to ask ourselves:

- Is my life-style (my habits of consumption) sustainable?

If you do, you may find yourself riding a bike to work, separating the recycling material and turning off the air-conditioning.

It's all about little steps that you and I can take to live a more sustainable life-style.

I can hear you all saying "what about the big corporations?" Well, let's leave that to government policy-makers to figure out (that's why we elect them and give them our tax dollars).

For now, it's important that we believe markets can be consumer-driven.

P.s.I'd be more than happy to discuss any questions or topics related to the environment. Just leave me your comments.


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