Written by Dr. Andrew Wallace PhD
|Sustainability and Society|
|The characteristics of a sustainable society|
The characteristics of a sustainable society
- From the forgoing we can see that a stable population would form one of the first characteristics of a sustainable society would have. We would need to keep the population at about the same level. No more exponential growth. That would mean that we would not have a economic system that needs growth to maintain itself.
- Another characteristic we could sum up as reducing our demands on the Earth. The less we need the less we need to produce and the less we take from the Earth. We can reduce our demand through reducing waste and increasing efficiency, thus getting more with less. Though building products that last and through matching our supply to our demands. No more producing things for profit, wasting resources as we go.
- Reuse forms another characteristic of a sustainable society. If we take what we have and use it again or use it for another purpose we save the need of having to produce another item. In doing so we can help cut back on our production and pollution.
- A sustainable society would also recycle as much as it can. This comes after reducing and reusing as it takes a bit more energy to recycle. Through putting back into the system things that people no longer have a use for we save the need of having to extract the resource from the Earth thus helping to reduce what we produce and the associated pollution.
Technocracy and sustainability
From the above the reader may begin to see that a sustainable society would not have the profit motive. The drive for profit would drive expansion as it does with today’s society. Thus, we would need to replace our capitalist free market economy. Technocracy [wal1] would form one such possible replacement.
A socioeconomic system run according to technocracy would have the sustainability property - as technocracy aims to maintain the highest standard of living for the longest time possible - as an inherent property of the system.
Technocracy achieves this sustainability through design and through the establishment of balance; balance between supply and demand; technology and ecology. Technocrats would design production to produce reusable and recyclable items; to minimise the energy and material requirements. Citizens would use energy credits to allocate energy to the production of goods and in doing so production would match supply. Technocracy would aim to maintain a stable population level through education and environmental design.
Technocracy can achieve a sustainable society as experts would manage the units of production, not for profit but only to produce what the people need, when they need it. They would design products suitable for sustainability while at the same time providing desirable products.
In the European system of technocracy proposed, experts would work on local goal orientated projects and only cooperate with other people at greater distances as and when needed. This would also help sustainability as it would minimise energy needs through keeping things as local as possible. Directors at various levels would over see the projects to ensure they remain compatible with the goals of technocracy and to provide communications between the project members.
[lim] Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers and Dennis Meadows. “Limits to growth : the 30-year update”. Earthscan, 2005. ISBN: 1-84407-143-X.[wiki5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_growth
[wal1] Andrew Wallace. “Technocracy: Building a new sustainable society for a post carbon world”. Lulu ID 750510.
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