July, 2006
Vol. 5, Number 7
The SNS Press E–Zine presents new perspectives for a better future in society, politics, religion, education, self-awareness and human relations.

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This Month's Article

Sustainable Development is Nature’s Way

Sustainability is living according to nature. It is not an alternative approach to life, just as health is not an alternative to illness. Nations can have sustainable economies that regenerate themselves while they produce, and not create pollution. Foreign policies that are sustainable are constructive, create friendships, and solve social problems. Non-sustainable policies are those that ignore the laws of nature. The results of ignoring the laws of nature are environmental destruction and pollution, and their social counterparts, war and hatred. Sustainability is being a good neighbor, and cooperating to meet common needs and solve common problems. It is obvious that those in charge of economic policies and international relations are ignorant of the laws of nature. They are threatening their own survival and the survival of our planet because of unsustainable practices based on false premises and false goals.

Health is natural. Peace is natural. In nature the cycles that sustain life contribute to the well-being of the whole system. An ecosystem in balance demonstrates the natural laws of justice and economy. Today people yearn for a healthy, peaceful and just life. At home, at work, in stable countries and in countries in the chaos of war, all people want, first and foremost, health, peace and justice. Why does it seem so impossible to achieve these, when unthinking natural systems can achieve them when left alone? When a person spends time in nature, when one contemplates the grandeur and intelligence of earth and space, one is humbled. Our world has been, and still is, ruled by arrogant, predatory men who have not taken the time to consider nature.

Basing human social systems and policies on nature is not a romantic notion; it is purely scientific. Humans are a part of nature and must behave according to the laws of nature. Our world crises and conflicts are a result of not taking natural laws as guidelines for our behavior. On the contrary, those who call for peace, truth and justice are called "radicals," ridiculed as "weak," or considered "outside the mainstream." In the meantime fools take charge of human affairs basing their policies on lies and treating nature as an enemy or as a whore. In spite of this upside down state of the world, people are waking up and consciousness is changing. People are starting to see that in order to survive we must live in harmony with each other and with the natural world.

In the 70’s people asked me why I ate health food. My response was, “What is the alternative, ‘un-health’ food?” If the purpose of food is to nourish and maintain health, then food that does not do this is not really “food.” Now, “health food” is called “natural food,” or “organic food” in our supermarkets, and is widely available. It appears that more people must be demanding so-called “natural foods” because more is being offered in mainstream markets.

Other debates such as “alternative medicine,” “natural childbirth” and “breast feeding” have followed the same pattern. They were “counter culture” practices in the 70’s and now they are accepted, not only as mainstream, but also as necessary components of overall health. Their merits are even discussed by politicians and of course, big business is not far behind. (I am sure that corporations such as Nestlé are trying to figure out how they can obtain patent rights to women’s breasts!)

In past diplomacy and politics peacemakers and internationalists have been considered too idealistic when confronted with the competition of national self-interests. Nevertheless, multinational corporations and a global economy have changed the playing field of politics forcing countries to consider cooperation on political, environmental and labor issues. Terrorism and the response to it is so horrible, sick, frustrating and backwards because the actors and politicians who are driving current events are so out of step with the demands and realities of evolving global consciousness and so contrary to the laws of nature.

The evolution of human consciousness is accelerating because dissatisfaction with the status quo is stimulating the search for alternatives. This is really a source for hope. So now-a-days when we hear talk of “alternative energy” and “environmentally friendly” manufacturing, we can see an implicit realization that much manufacturing is environmentally unfriendly, and that there are viable options different from how things have been done in the past. Just as health is a preferred alternative to illness, peace is an attractive alternative to war, friendship and cooperation seems better than hate, and tolerance more beneficial than fanaticism. When people realize that good is more natural than pain and suffering, then their consciousness changes.

Like "health food" versus "un-health" food, the choice we now face globally is between sustainable development and unsustainable development. Only sustainable development is “development,” because if “development” is not sustainable, it is destructive and depleting. So sustainable development is not an “alternative,” rather it is a core criteria for future politics and economics.

Sustainable economic and political development on a national and global scale is humanity’s future. It is the only path to survival, and also to a healthy, quality life. In the initial stages its seems to take extra effort and often appears to be costly. However, the more it is done, the easier it is, because nature helps us. Sustainable economic development creates a system of renewability not unlike age-old agricultural practices or pristine ecosystems. Traditionally, sustainable agriculture was a rhythm of taking and giving back. In nature we see balanced ecosystems that are non-polluting and self-renewing. People can be part of that equation even though our appetites are large and require greater consumption. It is a question of developing practices based on respect and balance with the natural order. There are some ranchers and farmers who maintain a living economy without hurting the natural order. Human ingenuity and moderation can develop ways of living more naturally without sacrificing quality of life. Hope for the future depends upon working with nature and developing a consciousness that produces a harmless lifestyle in balance with our environment.


© 2006 Richard Sidy

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Related Articles about Consciousness and the Future:

Hope for the Future
Series on Leadership
Series on Global Consciousness
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?

I Know I'm Not Alone — the wisdom of Machael Franti

Related Poems:

Making Friends
Take Heart
March Madness


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Donate to U.S.A. Fund for UNICEF

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Archives 2005
Volumn 4
January: "Standing up for Humanity"
February: "The Wake of Disaster" – a poem
March: "Unity in Diversity
April: "Life is Calling"
May: "Entertainment" – a poem
June: "Thought and Imagination" part 1
July: "Thought and Imagination" part 2
August: "Imagination and Healing"
September: "Malice or Neglect? – Lessons of Katrina"
October: "Protecting Children"
November: "Intelligent Design or Evolution?"
December: "Building with one hand, destroying with the other"
Archives 2006
Volumn 5

January: "Conflict, Harmony, and Integrity"
February: "Satyagraha or Soul-force and Political Change"
March: "I Know I'm Not Alone - Wisdom of Michael Franti"
April: "Human Programming and Conflict Part I"
May: "Human Programming and Conflict Part II"
June: "Soccer Diplomacy"
July: "Sustainable Development is Nature's Way
August: "Parallel Universes"
September: "The News is not New"
October: "Legalizing Torture"
November: "Living Without an Enemy"
December: "Fast Food is really Slow Food"

Archives 2007
Volumn 6

January: "State of Fear"
February: Criminal Justice - "The Powerful Over the Weak"
March: "Culture Shock: The Good Life and Survival"
April: "March Madness"
May: "No Child Left Behind" Leaves Many Teachers Behind
June: "Personal Ecology"
July: Criminal Justice - "The Ethic of Custodianship"
August: "Exploring the Mind - part 1"
September: "Exploring the Mind - part 2: The Poetic Mind
October: "How Much Pain Can We Stand?"
November: "When Languages Disappear"
December: "Is it Enough to be Tolerant?"

Archives 2008
Volumn 7

January: "Beyond Ideology: Politics of the Future "
February: "Beyond the Bush Years"
March: "The Imaginary Economy - Part I
April: "The Imaginary Economy - Part II
May: Questions from Prison
June: "iGods and Connectivity"
July: "Energy Independence"
August: "Tribalism and the 2008 Elections
September: "Guilt, Shame and U.S. Justice"
October: "Have We Been Willing Slaves?"
November: "Are We Ready for the Future?"
December: "Are we done learning from pain?"

Archives 2009
Volumn 8

January: "Awakening"
February: "When Sacrifice is no Sacrifice"
March: "The Good New Days"
April: "The Power of Metaphor"
May: "The Conflict of Mythologies"
June: "The Time is Right"
July: "The New Anarchy"
August: "The Art of Living"
September: "Outrage"
October: "Are Women Becoming More Unhappy?

November: "Effect of the manufacturing culture on the American Psyche"
December: Who are the Real Game Changers?

Archives 2010
Volumn 9

January: The Music of Place
February: Earthquakes and Other Awakenings
March: Sense of Place, Sense of Self, Sense of Humanity
April: Why Do People Serve?
May: Decentralizing Food and Energy
June: Beyond Reading and Writing — Ecological literacy
July: Organization or Organism?
August: Fear and Cynicism = “Inter-fear-ance”
September: Are we afraid of our "Better Angels?"
October: Choosing Our Battles
November: Meeting the Need
December: A Living Canvas

Archives 2002: Vol. 1, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Hope for the Future
Six Part Series on Science and Religion
First Three Parts of the Series on Leadership
Archives 2003: Vol. 2, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Series on Leadership continued
Avoiding Dictatorship in a Free Society

Art and Politics
Living the Good Life

Teaching Teens
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Archives 2004: Vol. 3, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Seven Part Series on Global Consciousness
Is "Liberal" a Dirty Word?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All
Poetry Diplomacy Science and Religion  Teen Help
Archives 2002 Archives 2003 Archives 2004
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