Sustainability & Business
Businesses have a profound effect on sustainability. Businesses are permitted to externalize many of the costs associated with producing, using, and disposing of their products, which means that the cost and damage is shared by everyone.
For example: Coal sells as a commodity at about $50/ton. Experts estimate that the extraction and burning of coal creates additional costs to society of over $200/ton.Coal and energy companies profit from the low price, while everyone else bears the costs, primarily in the form of environmental degradation, global warming, and impaired health.
(Other examples include difficult-to-recycle electronic devices and single-use containers & packaging.)
Rights of Nature | Rights of Mother Earth
The ‘rights of nature’ concept recognizes that the natural systems have a right to exist, and that these rights may be superior to the commerce and property rights of humans; unfortunately this concept is only now becoming more widely appreciated.
In 2010, a general, global statement of the rights of nature, the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, was issued at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. This lead to places, for example Bolivia, to recognize ’Mother Earth’ as having rights that are parallel to human rights.
By Zeke Zelker Land Use and Development As a teenager, I spent hours walking in the cornfields of Lower Macungie, searching for solace in the serene pastoral landscape. I would traverse this landscape alone, rummaging through my confused adolescent mind trying … more
by Joris Rosse Trees have just become a far more important aspect of our lives than they had been before climate change. Trees, large and small, provide crops, firewood, fruit, lumber, wind breaks, and healings. Through photosynthesis, carbon from the … more
Trainloads of crude oil from the Bakken shale in ND do pass through the Valley — and these trains travel through the center of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, often right next to the Lehigh River. This raises major safety concerns and … more
Most trains reach their destinations safely, of course. Derailments are not common, but— but when a train carrying explosive crude or natural gas does derail and catch fire, the results can be disastrous, as the photos below show. December 2013 … more
PennEast is a high-volume, high-pressure pipeline designed to transport natural gas from the fracking fields of northern PA through the Lehigh Valley and on to markets in other areas [perhaps overseas]. As with any major construction project, impacts on natural resources … more
The following is the executive summary from Rodale Institute’s white paper titled ‘Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change: A Down-to-Earth Solution to Global Warming’: We are at the most critical moment in the history of our species, as manmade changes … more
Climate and Sustainability Commitment (As adopted by the Bethlehem Area School District, 28 April 2014) “Changes to Pennsylvania’s climate are happening now. While there is uncertainty as to the extent and timing of these impacts, it is undeniable that action … more