A few people have made comments lately that show the concept of ’sustainability’ means quite different things to different people.
Here we are making an issue of the CUB site and the Surry Hills Community Centre, which clearly do not meet the sustainability standards needed to reverse global warming, and more than one person has responded with comments like: ‘But what’s wrong with being on mains water?’
Well, nothing is wrong with it, especially as most of us have little choice and little incentive to do otherwise. Some climate-change sceptics even take sustainability messages as a personal affront.
That’s not what we are saying, though.
The point is that the ways of the past, the ways we have grown up with and take for granted, cannot last. Even ultra-sceptics like George Bush and John Howard are finally admitting that climate change induced by human activity is a real problem.
That’s partly because so many major players in business and economics have now accepted that the longer we take to tackle the problem the worse the economic damage we will most likely have to endure. Even the risk of it demands action.
So when developers propose major projects that incorporate only minor or marginal green initiatives, and these projects have, say, a 30-year life span, it’s simply stealing from our own future and that of our children — and their children.
Don’t forget that every tonne of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere will stay there for hundreds of years. There is no magic vacuum-cleaner to take it all away.
Every minute, every week and every month counts. It’s urgent!
So the only responsible way forward is to drastically reduce emissions, now. We need to realise that every take-away coffee cup, every glass of mains water that has been pumped from a distant dam and every old computer monitor we throw out embodies energy that has produced emissions. But compared to a take-away coffee cup, major developments like the CUB site will be cataclysmic in their impacts.
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