Friday, July 02, 2010

Social ground for sustainable development

Environmentalist is that someone who dosen't live normal? You have done a great job, you deserve a break.. I've heard some from friends and foes. I think environmental issues is life. Not just a lifestyle. And the mission is to work with everyone in this direction, but how?

I'm thinking about things like eat up your food, don't through trash in nature, take the bus to work, use less water when you do the dishes, how high temperature you have and how much and which washing powder you use when you do the laundry, in one hand and where to buy your food and what kind of food you can find there, who you meet and how often you can go to nature, in the other. Those two parts of environmental behavior can either be seen as something bother the individual, it is about your actions, time and wills or the society should fix it with structures to make it easier for individuals.

In the individual level, do you think it would be easy to tell those people who don't, to eat up the food, because of climate change (or any other environmental issue..)? (eat up your food because of povertry, we all know). Do we need to scare people to handle environmental issues (you will die from climate change, 50 years or so) or is the best argument just the answer- "its just the way it is". (Compare it to the child who do not want to brush their teeth, parent can either say; "you can lose your teeth if you don't, they will fall out, or they can say "its just the way it is- brush your teeth". The different lays in the decision-taking. Is it the kid or the parent who are responsible for the kids teeth-brushing?. I don't mean in the end, just in the decision)? Does the individual take the responsible for the environment or the state? Is it a choice we- the individuals- can do something about? Is it a small revolutions we do if we choice to do something about climate change, because we don't want to die in 50 years (or our kids do) or is it more revolutionary to say "no, I don't want to", maybe more a revolt both to the parents in the tooth brushing example and to the future in the climate change/environment example. So is environmental behavior, just common sense? I.e, the argument where we scare "you will loose your teeth if you dont" is just unnessasary.

The discussion above have been here many times before. Is it up to individuals to be consern and do something about it, or is it society? If society would build an environment where we don't have to think about it too much, it would be easier for everyone. Or put in another way; why do people do as they do today?

If society, the village or the city, the neighbourhood or a structure took resposible for how people acually feel in that part, it could give much more of a good result to environmental issues than if individuals do something in a society which works in another direction. More nature, more meetings with people, a slower street where peoples attention is focused outside their minds instead of just in their minds. We can't change that human being react different with different environment or surroundings (to not confuse the two words), different depending on the "feeling" of that place (those kind of feelings we do play a lot on in other contexts, the nightclub is something different from the workplace or the restaurant etc). With another surroundings for people, people can start to behave different.

I think, therefore, to change peoples actions and wills about environmental issues we need to take attention from environment and instead take a closer look at the human. How and why do we do things?

I think... to do that, we need to have more of nature closer to people, to see what we have to be careful with. People also have to have a responsibility how things works around them. Bottom-up, top-down, a mixture of them or something built up of complex structures its not a easy job, but it has to be done AND the human behavior needs to have the attention in the work with sustainable development.

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MIRAGE: A Short Film about Arcosanti

Mirage from Edan Cohen on Vimeo .