(Sustainable Lehigh Valley – Fall 2020)
This issue inaugurates some important changes to Sustainable Lehigh Valley. While we continue to feature a variety of essays, we will also include more creative writing and visual art such as drawing, photographs, and paintings. A greater variety of creative pieces allows messages and ideas to be expressed in different ways and thus reaches new audiences and adds impact. We’ll also be publishing in both spring and fall, to allow more opportunities for people to contribute relevant work.
Along with these changes, we are reducing the space for detailed directory listings because they are available— and more up to date— in our online directory.*
As we prepare this edition, the world continues to face several inter-related existential challenges.
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc throughout the world, and has killed over 250,000 people in the United States alone, revealing many serious weaknesses and inequities in our country’s healthcare system.
Throughout the spring and summer, we also saw examples of institutionalized racism and police brutality in one city after another, including the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Climate change and environmental degradation continue unchecked. While less dramatic than the pandemic, climate change will actually have a much higher death toll; unfortunately, too many powerful people continue to deny or disregard the disastrous outcomes on people and ecosystems.
As is true in so many situations, these challenges are complicated by the fact that solutions to one problem also affect the others. In Tara Zrinski’s note on the cover drawing (p. ii), she pointed out that ‘The gentle entanglement… is both beautiful and fragile’ — and the same can be said for the naturally-interwoven and interdependent strands of sustainability!
A key step in addressing these problems is to recognize the devastating impact on individuals and to take the time to learn about them and become inspired to take action. We hope the ideas and ideals expressed in this booklet provide some inspiration to at least partially offset the existential crises that threaten us and future generations.