[In development – if you have questions now, send an email to Peter Crownfield, coordinator for the sustainability impact assessment project.] This list is provided as a starting point for others doing a sustainability impact assessment for a proposed, planned, or existing project. It will cover climate, community, health, environmental, & local economic impacts, … [Read more...] about Resources (Sustainability Impact Assessment)
Focus on Pages
The "Focus On" section provides in-depth information and opinion on many facets of sustainability. (Although these topics may appear quite distinct and separate, it’s important to remember that they are interconnected and interdependent in multiple ways — in general, the 4 basic principles of ecology apply to all complex systems.)
When you select a Focus On… topic, the system will select all the articles and posts in that category with the most recent pages at the top, just under a brief introduction to the topic. (Many articles appear in multiple categories.)
Background & detail information is organized into the following main categories:
Community & Culture
Strong communities allow more sustainable practices to empower the people to create a more sustainable society.
Working together on common interests creates opportunities for both personal and community growth, promotes involvement in the arts and local government, and fosters equality.
First of all, the Alliance thanks the 5 student interns whose hard work made this project possible: Olivia Barz (Lehigh ’19)Ryan Dougherty (Lafayette ’19)Harris Eisenhardt (SUNY–ESF ’19)Ashley Kushner (Lafayette ’19)Brandy Moser (Boston University ‘21) The project team thanks the many community leaders for their assistance—and is especially grateful to Lin Erickson, … [Read more...] about Acknowledgments (Sustainability Impact Assessment)
by Rich Fegley It is estimated that the average American meal travels about 1500 miles to get from farm to plate. If our food is grown that far from where we live, it is safe to assume that a fair percentage of the money that we spend to purchase food will go to the grower who is located 1500 miles away and to the food distributor, possibly located in Texas or Illinois. It is … [Read more...] about Local Economic Systems
by Alex Fischer Conducting one’s life to end exploitation and injustice is moral and dignified. The twin threats of nuclear war and climate change forecast a bleak future. While we cannot know whether or not people and their societies can change things, thereby improving the conditions under which we and other beings live on Earth, great danger lies in not imagining change. I … [Read more...] about Is There Hope for the Future?
by Andrew Goldman What does it mean to be alive? Living things grow and reproduce; they adapt to change and maintain metabolic activity; they begin, and they end. In short, life takes energy and matter from its surroundings, processes them into something new, and then returns them from whence they came. Life is a cycle. Everyone understands this cycle when it comes to things … [Read more...] about The Paradox of “Nature”
by Briana VanBuskirk We’re stuck in a cycle that fosters the creation, use, and discarding of materials without any consideration for the environment, animal rights, or human rights. Why is this? It’s no secret that financial gain is the core problem. At some point in our lives, we’ve felt guilty for giving into the consumer lifestyles that provide us with easy, cheap access … [Read more...] about The Cycle of Discarding
by Courtney Cohen Society has made great strides to improve modern medicine, communication, and technology, but in the process, we have lost our innate connection with the natural world. Early environmentalists like Thoreau and Pinchot warned society that they were falling prey to capitalism and industrialization, and that we must preserve the fragile bond between humankind … [Read more...] about Education: The Key to a Sustainable Future
by Emma Stierhoff Consumerism […] encourages both increased consumption and increased waste, resulting in environmental destruction. It was not until I began identifying as an environmentalist in high school that I started to question the constant pressure to buy more things, as well as the lack of pressure about disposing of things in landfills. I grew acutely aware of the … [Read more...] about The Environmental Perils of Consumerism
by Diane W. Husic The first report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 1990)1 led to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The 195 countries that signed this 1992 treaty, including the U.S., are obligated to “act in the interests of human safety even in the face of scientific uncertainty.”1 Since then, that uncertainty, at … [Read more...] about Creating a Local Climate for Community Conversation and Action
by Ida Halleröd I arrived in the Lehigh Valley in January this year from Gothenburg, Sweden. My husband got transferred here for work and I tagged along, figuring it would be one of life’s great adventures. I had slim pre-knowledge of Pennsylvania. Swedes often complain about Americans not being able to know the difference between Sweden and Switzerland—I don’t because if you … [Read more...] about The Legal Alien