The human species is endowed with unbounded cleverness. Unfortunately, this cleverness is poorly balanced with wisdom. Nowhere is this imbalance more graphically illustrated than in the contradiction between how we as individuals, nations, and as a global community, go about satisfying our needs and desires, and the negative effect these activities have on our planetary life support system.
Jim Bell, Founder
Advocates for a Sustainable Tomorrow Today:
The Ecological Life Systems Institute
a non profit California corporation since 1978
Daily, the media bombard us with information chronicling the results of our assaults on nature. But, even as our awareness and concern are increasing, we still respond to this information as though hearing reports of some distant battle in which we are not personally involved. Deep down any thinking person knows this is not the case. Yet day to day, we are carried along by the momentum of practices and attitudes that no longer correspond to the current eco-nomic situation of our planet.
With all the drama we manage to create as a species, its easy to lose sight of the fact that we are, like other life forms, part of and totally dependent on our planets ecology for our survival. And still, to date, we do not know how to live on our planet in ways that are eco-nomically sustainable, even though most of the technologies needed to do so have already been developed.
This we know. The unbridled exploitation of resources leads ultimately only to their exhaustion. Similarly the pursuit of policies based simply on rewarding that which appears expedient often times overlooks alternatives which are in fact more prudent. And practices which benefit only the few at the expense of the many eventually collapse in failure.Toward the ends of creating a truly sustainable life culture on Planet Earth, the underlying goals of this Institute are as follows:
· to learn how to make a living on our planet in ways that eco-nomically sustainable
· to teach that knowledge to our children
· to foster, promote, and encourage responsibility and to identify policies and practices which advance the health and well being of the eco-system upon which we all depend
· to invite and encourage the participation of industry and government in developing democratic institutions, policies, and practices, which protect and sustain the health of our planet and all that live upon it
These principals will guide us in determining the best policies and practices for designing our cities and the buildings and infrastructure that make them up so that they operate in ways that are eco-nomically sustainable. These same principals will guide us in our use of timber, food, and other plant materials in ways that protect genetic diversity, build soils, and eliminate pollution. We must mine and use our planet's mineral wealth in the same ways. Healing and education must also reflect these values.
In sum, it is our goal to live on this planet in ways that maximize eco-nomic sustainability. By doing so we can develop land use plans that better allocate resources needed to site our cities, and to preserve and protect those which are essential for agriculture, for wildlife habitat, for industry, and for human habitation. If we have made mistakes in the past we can evolve gracefully into a more eco-nomically secure future.
It is often said that few ever plan to fail, but that many instead simply fail to plan. If we fail to do so now, we can look forward only to the ultimate depletion of resources, the loss of our prosperity, and the decline of the human species.
Alternatively, to challenge ourselves to envision
and enact public policies which respect the interconnectedness of our eco-life
systems, we invest in the renewal of our resources and the security of
our culture. When we as the public succeed in demanding that industry
and government abide by this principle, we will assure the sustainability
for tomorrow of that which we most cherish today.
ELSI Ecological Life Systems Institute,
PO BOX 7453
San Diego, CA 92167
4862 Voltaire Street
San Diego, CA 92107
Call us at:
Home: (619) 758-9020
Fax: (619) 758-9029
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