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What is Sustainability? PDF Print Email this article
Written by Randy Bisenz   
Friday, Apr 02, 2010

As the general population becomes more aware of our environmental challenges and the emerging energy crisis certain words have become popular in the media.  Not too many years ago words like sustainable, green or renewable would bring snickers from people who thought the environmental movement and search for alternative energy sources were just hoaxes perpetuated by those with purely political agendas.  Not anymore.  Just about everywhere you look in media and advertising people are talking green and sustainability.

One unfortunate side effect of having meaningful words become marketing buzzwords is that what these words mean and represent is often lost in a barrage of advertising and shallow quasi-news reporting.

The words sustainable and sustainability are powerful words with meaning that reveals great wisdom for the future of humankind.  It is important that we preserve the power of these words to help us understand what we must do to provide a high quality of life in the years ahead.  It would be tragic to be seduced by the spin doctors that because we put a green or sustainable label on something that we are properly addressing our long-term challenges.

This article includes 234 comments
Last Updated ( Friday, Apr 02, 2010 )
Effective Activism - Politics & Change PDF Print Email this article
Written by Randy Bisenz   
Friday, Mar 26, 2010

A while back my friend Abby was on my radio show and made the comment that she used to be a “Re-actionist” and now had matured into a “Pro-activist”.

She went on to explain that before she would become angry about something going on in the world and then would immediately swing into action to confront what was bothering her.  After a while she learned that sometimes she was reacting to a particular piece of information, and then had a completely different perspective once she understood the entire issue.  The other thing she had learned was that it was somewhat difficult to engage others in her campaigns if she was angry and in reaction.

Abby has become quite effective in getting people involved in the things she cares about.  She studies the issues that concern her to make sure she has the whole picture of what is going on, and then determines how she could be most effective in stimulating awareness of the issue and gaining support to address the issue.  Once she has finished her “homework” she is then in a position to work patiently and consistently with others to create the change she believes in.

This article includes 95 comments
Last Updated ( Friday, Apr 02, 2010 )
Limitation is a Myth Politics and Innovation PDF Print Email this article
Written by Randy Bisenz   
Friday, Mar 19, 2010

One of the most common themes in the movies is when the hero or heroine faces an overwhelming impossible task and it seems like there is no way they can pull it off.  In each of these stories the star battles the odds and begins to accomplish the impossible through sheer determination and creative problem-solving.  Like many themes in stories this one is based on things that happen in real life.  We clearly believe in our ability to accomplish the impossible…as long as someone else is doing the work.

For most of us when we are facing an overwhelming task we have to deal with a great deal of doubt before we can make any headway.  If the task is beyond our personal resources we tend to start thinking that it is impossible.  This is especially true of problems or challenges that affect us, but are too big for any of us to tackle on our own.  Climate change, the Energy Crisis or International Terrorism are all good examples of these kinds of issues.

Another factor is fear. When we feel threatened we tend to pull back unless we are clear about how to handle the threat.  If we are threatened by an overwhelming problem like the challenges mentioned earlier it seems almost easier to ignore the problem hoping it will go away or someone else will take care of it.  These human tendencies are what create our limitations.

This article includes 101 comments
Last Updated ( Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 )
The Mother of All Solutions Part 4 PDF Print Email this article
Written by Randy Bisenz   
Friday, Mar 12, 2010

Over the past few weeks we have been looking at the role that education plays in improving the quality of our lives.  We have defined education as a combination of knowledge, awareness and experience.  We have seen how improving formal education results in better overall conditions in a society, and how important it is that the media gives us an unbiased and comprehensive view of what is going on outside our daily lives.  Last week we explored the relationship between expanding our personal experience of people and places we are unfamiliar with and how accurately we perceive the world around us. 

If education is the Mother of All Solutions then the Internet is her most prodigious offspring. In this case the offspring has become the great protector and guardian of our education process, and so we are calling the Internet the Godfather of All Solutions.

If a school system begins to teach material that is biased or inaccurate students have the option to research this material on the web and get an alternative point-of-view.  When the media refuses to cover a story we have the option to look up the story on the web and find out what is going on. If government officials publish misleading information in an attempt to influence public opinion we have the option to check things out on our own to verify or invalidate the press releases. When a company attempts to cover up unethical business practices you can bet that a knowledgeable insider has published the truth somewhere on the web.

The Internet is perhaps the most powerful instrument of the democratic process ever developed in the history of humankind.

This article includes 1 comment
Last Updated ( Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 )
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