I would like to give my support for the importance of the questions that feilims has raised below.
We all know that Irish society has been undergoing very rapid unsustainable changes. A great deal of positive change will be needed if Irish society is to begin to play a positive role with regards to sustainability.
Questioning what Environmental Science is, and what role it plays in the quest for sustainability is of utmost importance. Personally I don’t know if Environmental Scientists, and Environmental concerns in general, are having a significant positive impact on Irish society yet. Perhaps thay will act as a catalyst for great change in the future???
> Following from the email from Conor Kretsch, the issue of sustainability
> seems to be firmly divided in Ireland (and most likely in the rest of the
> EU also) into at least two opinions.
> On the one hand, environmental and social organisations seem to me to hold
> the view that in order to sustain our environment for our own society and
> for generations to come, we need to make dramatic changes to our collective
> lifestyle, to our culture of excessive consumerism.
> On the other hand, what I have seen of government policy at local and
> national level indicates to me that the political powers in Ireland hold
> the view that in order to sustain the present level of resource consumption
> and economic growth, we need to make sure that environmental and social
> pressures are carefully managed to satisfy public and legislative demand
> without compromising the economic needs of the present.
> As environmental scientists, we are faced not with a purely
> physical/natural environment in which changes can be made to encourage a
> favourable outcome, but also with a political/financial environment in
> which the status quo is valued highly by those whose interests it serves,
> by whom change is resisted forcefully. Do we have a role to play as
> mediators between these two poles of opinion? More specifically, in
> investigating the numerous existing solutions to excessive consumerism and
> resource consumption and bringing them to the political and public forum in
> a language acceptable to the public mind? In other words, how can we
> engender the idea of genuine long-term sustainability in the public and
> political mind through the medium of environmental science?
> Feidhlim Harty
> Féidhlim Harty Wetland Systems,
> Gaggin, Bandon, Co. Cork, Ireland.
> ph/fax.: 023-52983 email: [log in to unmask]
> FH Wetland Systems - Designing and Planting
> Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment.
> See our other Environmental Consultancy Services at:
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