Amid all of the fallout around the Solyndra bankruptcy, and the subsequent controversy surrounding the infusion of taxpayer cash by the White House, we all need to take a step back and assess how the rest of the “green” world is doing. Time and time again, the popular media only pick up on large-scale failures or administration missteps, when there are entrepreneurs and innovators throughout the country who are making positive steps toward a more sustainable life for all.
The past two weeks have been an interesting time in the world of climate change research. The recently released, privately-funded Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) study that was pioneered by respected scientist and praised climate skeptic Richard Muller tells us something we already knew: the earth is getting warmer.
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So what does it really mean to be sustainable? It seems that people you talk to about sustainability development (SD), or “being green,” have their own (oftentimes extremely self-serving) definition. The academics are saying one thing while the practitioners are saying something totally different. If they’ll both check the Bruntland Commission’s report from back in 1987 they’ll see that SD was defined some 24 years ago as “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (p. 47).
Sustainability development at its very core is very applicable in both developing and developed countries. Van Cotthem maintains that for sustainability development to be implemented successfully in developing countries, action has to take place at the local and community level, and will likely need to be supported by various stakeholders from both public and private sectors.
Another $500 Million Wasted by White House: The Time Is Right for Experts To Make Sustainability DecisionsSubmitted by ChristopherCraig_MBA on Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:38.
One of the first things that I ran across this morning was a headline across the top of FoxNews.com that read “Emails Reveal White House ‘Pressure’ To Fast-Track Questionable Loan.” Without even opening the article, I knew exactly what it was talking about: the half-a-billion dollar funneling of taxpayer money to a solar project that is now out of business. I’ve held a pretty firm stance all along that the current administration doesn’t have a real grasp on what institutes an impactful sustainability project, and this was just another example why.
Government Waste on "Green" Programs Continues to Put an Undo Burden on Small Businesses and US CitizensSubmitted by ChristopherCraig_MBA on Tue, 08/30/2011 - 02:01.
With the 2012 presidential campaigns beginning to get ramped up, it is as good a time as any for all sides to reexamine the impact that “green” government spending has had on our country … or, shall I say, the lack of impact the spending has had. There is no better time than the present to move beyond the rhetoric and billions of wasted dollars, and let the private sector do what they know how to the best – not waste money, put people to work, and thrive despite the ever-changing rules that are presented for playing the game.
Last week it was announced that the New York City Council is providing a $1.25 Million Dollar grant to the Solar 2 Project. (1) The building will truly be a laboratory for learning, where the public is welcome to visit exhibits and attend seminars about sustainable and environmentally friendly topics. Using state-of-the art sustainability architecture and engineering, the building will be capable of putting energy back into the grid and operate at net zero in water consumption, the first such building in New York City.
A recent global survey released by SustainAbility and Globescan (see www.sustainability.com) reported what is becoming increasingly apparent: businesses, not governments, are the leaders in sustainability. “Social entrepreneurs are the only ones effectively advancing the sustainability agenda” according to the report. Clean energy is a major sustainability initiative that is being advanced by the private sector. However, due to recent budget battles and cuts in Washington, the $8 billion that President Obama is seeking for clean energy programs is in danger.
Freedom or regulation - it’s a classic argument. On the one hand officials want to pursue mandated policy to drive progressive action. The other would rather let the free market police its own willing participants. But recent legislation in places like NY, DC or San Francisco seems to be promoting sustainability in a way that lessens the viability of green real estate being just what it should be – a sound business idea.
One of the biggest problems with “sustainability development” today is the mis-use of the term. The lack of knowledge on the subject has resulted in both the intentional and un-intentional practice of “greenwashing,” where a product, service, and/or viewpoint is marketed as sustainable or environmentally friendly when in fact, it is not. It is important to note that just because something is environmentally friendly doesn’t mean it’s sustainable.