What is Sustainable Development and How to Achieve Sustainable Waste Management

The Brundtland Commission report provides an excellent definition of sustainable development has been quoted and more recently, the United Kingdom government in the form of its Sustainable Development Strategy, published by the DETR also defined it, and that definition can be found on the web.

However, these definitions shouldn’t be left to government only. The idea is after all very simple to understand and we thought we would give you our slant on their definition as follows:

Sustainable development starts with the idea that the most sustainable aim for all is a better quality of life for everyone, not only now, but for generations to come.

To achieve this, sustainable development is concerned with achieving economic growth, in the form of higher living standards. It is definitely not about hair shirts and scrimping and saving, or punishing ourselves for enjoying the use of the world’s resources now.

But it IS about our protecting and where possible enhancing the environment, not just for its own sake but for our own enlightened self interest, because a damaged environment would quite soon begin to hold back economic growth and lower the quality of life.

It IS egalitarian, because it to be truly sustainable as history shows, things only work in the long term if we all make sure that economic and environmental benefits are freely available to the whole society and not just a privileged few.

Sustainability is compatible with all the major faiths and can be supported by all.

So, it is commonly accepted that sustainable development must encompass four broad objectives.

These are; social progress which recognises the needs of everyone, the effective protection of the environment, prudent use of natural resources, and maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment.

One of the most important areas for society to act sustainably is in how it throws away its waste, its trash and detritus. Nothing else, other than fossil fuel energy over-use causing climate change, and war, has the potential to do so much accumulating damage.

Unsustainable waste management poisons watercourses and underground water, leaves litter around everywhere to maim and kill our wildlife, encourages rats and vermin, pollutes the air with odours and unhealthy aerosols and can render vast areas of land damaged or largely unusable.

What is Sustainable Waste Management

There is no one sustainable waste management solution which yet reigns supreme. There are still conflicting views as to the most practical, environmentally beneficial and effective means of achieving sustainable waste management.

The overall policy aims to achieve sustainable waste management, that have been established in recent years across the whole of the European Union and many other nations are:

* to reduce the amount of waste that society produces;
* to make best use of that that is produced; and
* to choose waste management practices which minimise the risks of immediate and future environmental pollution and harm to human health.

Over the last ten years or so the actions needed for the waste industry and individuals to follow, and which are most sustainable have been defined by the policy makers.

A waste disposal method for making the choice between waste treatment and disposal options which puts landfill disposal at the bottom of the list of possible waste disposal routes, has been provided throughout the EU, for use by everyone. It is known as the waste disposal hierarchy.

Landfill does have a role in this strategy in mopping up the residual waste after all pre-treatment of waste has already removed as much of the waste stream as possible, but it is a continually reducing one, and consensus among waste professionals still remains tenuously established at best.

Sustainable Landfill

Flushing bioreactor landfills have been suggested as the only way to achieve sustainable landfills but very real technical problems exist in developing these, not least obtaining enough fresh clean water for the flushing in the first place.

However, there is a general consensus on the objectives of sustainable landfill, which we list as follows:

- The contents of the landfill must be managed so that outputs are released to the environment in a controlled and acceptable way.
– The residues left in the site should not pose an unacceptable risk to the environment, and the need for aftercare and monitoring should not be passed on to the next generation.
– Future use of groundwater and other resources should not be compromised.

The striking point here though is it could be suggested that slow leakage to the environment can be better than a total containment if slow improvement and stabilisation is achieved without any irreversible harm being caused.

Money and Finances in the 21st Century

What does planetary and human evolution tell us about our financial and economic future?

Just this! Human evolution can not be seen as separate from cosmic evolution. Our Universe is a living organic entity and we, the human race and our ability for survival are an integral part of this infinitely on-going metamorphosis of great power and energy. Knowing how to dance to the cosmic rules of evolution and what blocks us from accessing the flow of spiritual resources that lead us to a flow of the material ones, helps is to navigate through these challenging times with more purpose and ease.

Today’s challenges ask us to take a fresh look at how our beliefs and perceptions affect our choices we make around money. Today’s financial and social economic crisis triggers some of human’s most fundamental fears, especially the fear of survival. At the same time, it is an opportunity for us to look at what blocks us from accessing the flow of spiritual resources that lead us to a flow of the material ones.

Watching the German news and the European Union’s actions to bail-out Greece to prevent it from going bankrupt, I was again reminded of the continuous disclosures of unethical and fraudulent behavior on Wallstreet and the big American and European banks’. Not a day goes by without reports about new catastrophes showing us how unsustainable our way of life has become. Fear-based, outmoded thinking of lack and scarcity is driving big corporations’ and governments’ re-actions to the various crises. They are desperately trying to fix the symptoms by pumping non-existent money into economically and environmentally unsustainable systems and structures. I cannot help but draw a comparison between a cancer that eats away at the body and this dysfunctional, unsustainable and irresponsible behavior displayed globally in all areas of life.

Because we are all exposed to this great transformative energy, good questions to ask around money and finances are:

  • What is my financial situation telling me about who I am?
  • What are other aspects in my life telling me about how I deal with money?
  • Because money itself has no intrinsic value and is only a symbol for the exchange of energy:
    • how do I invest my energy?
    • Do I invest my energy in keeping up with the Johnsons, trying to avoid loss or never have enough of it?

Despite these futile endeavors of trying to fix problems at the level of the symptoms, a new human being, a new world, a new economy and new monetary system is emerging like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. While all this chaos is going on, a new world based on love rather than fear and lack is emerging. And, we are its co-creators. We are, each and every one of us, part of this greatest of human transformations ever played out on earth.

It’s Easy to Get Cycling Accident Compensation

When an accident occurs, the threat to life and the safety of all the parties concerned is the number one priority of everyone involved. Cycling accident compensation is the last thing on your mind. It is important to check on the health of of the victims and to seek medical attention even if there are no apparent injuries.

It may seem silly to go to the hospital if there are no scrapes or cuts, no bumps, pain, or swelling. It is a precautionary measure and one that sometimes has lifelong consequences. It is better for everyone if you visit the hospital and confirm your suspicions that indeed nothing is wrong and you are perfectly fine, than to discover days after that you are in pain and something is seriously wrong.

Every injury is different and while some injuries are easily detected and are very obvious as soon as they occur all injuries are not that way. Some will only reveal themselves after some time has passed.There are some that can only be detected with specialized medical equipment. Early detection and diagnosis can make a difference in some cases and can even be the difference between life and death. That is just one reason why it is important to see a doctor after an accident.

The other reason is to establish cause and effect. If you are involved in an accident, you may receive jolting, a forcible blow, or a fall of some kind. If there is no cut, scrape, bruise, or any physical indication you may be hurt, you go on about your normal routine. Several days later you may wake up sore and stiff, unable to move, or you may experience swelling in some area of the body, dizziness, nausea or even vomiting.

It may be obvious to you that this must be as a result of the accident and the trauma you suffered. Unfortunately, it may not be as obvious to anyone else that the two incidents are linked somehow and that the source of your mysterious maladies must be the accident. If you did not visit the doctor and if you made no report this would be the first mention of the incident to any authority.

It is easy to see that this can be a tricky situation. You wish you could go back in time and correct your lapse in judgement. All hope is still not lost. This can easily be avoided, if regardless of the circumstances surrounding the bike accident and regardless of how you feel or look, you think first. The wisest course of action is to report the accident to the relevant authorities and visit the hospital.

The simple act of thinking ahead and making wise choices can make it easy to get the cycling accident compensation you will need and deserve if you are ever involved in a bicycle accident. If you have been in a bike crash visit Carry on Cycling to speak with a solicitor.

Understanding Economic and Political Systems Across Borders

Your business investment is affected by the type of political system in the country you wish to invest or explore. Before you decide in which country to do business with, you first need to examine the type of economic and political system it operates in. The three major political systems are (1) Capitalism, (2) Communism, and (3) Socialism. Work operations and habits are affected by each system, and your investment will also be affected in several ways that you may or may not like. Therefore, to be sure that you are going to do business in a potential country with acceptable environment without regret, you need to arm yourself with information to guide you through your investment period.

Capitalism:

Capitalism is an economic system that leads to creation of wealth in most of the world. Most of the factors of production [land, labor, capital, entrepreneurship, and knowledge] are privately owned and used as pleased to produce goods and services. In a free market, what to produce and the quantity to produce is dictated by the market. In this market, buyers and sellers negotiate prices for goods and services. In capitalistic countries, consumers directly or indirectly inform producers on; what they want, how many they want, in what form they want it, how they are going to take possession of it, and so on. In such countries, while business owners make decisions on what to produce, how much to charge for products, how much to pay workers, where to produce goods and services, government often interjects to set the minimum wage, and also set standard for environmental safety reasons. Capitalism is what promotes the wealth of developed countries and responsible for their economic stability.

Communism:

Communism is the political system in which the government owns almost 100% of the factors of production, makes all economic decisions, and also encroaches in the life of its citizens. In this type of system, you are restricted on where you should live, when you should travel, whether to change jobs, and what religion to practice. You can now see how far your investment can go in such a system with no freedom. Majority of the time governments do not know what to produce, or how much to produce because the prices are not reflective of demand and supply. Most countries under this system face starvation due to economic depression, and few prefer to build their military instead of creating wealth.

Socialism:

Socialism is an economic system with the premise that most businesses should be under the ownership of the government and that the profits should be distributed evenly among the citizens. Smaller businesses are owned by entrepreneurs, and those business owners are taxed heavily in order to pay for social programs. This system believes in social equality, and that the government should be an agent to distribute the wealth evenly to its citizens. It also believes that wealthier people should pay more through taxation, and that the tax revenue should be redistributed to the poorer people in form of social programs. Some of those social programs are free health care, free education, free food, free child care, and so on. Workers in this system have many employee benefits, receive sick leave, work fewer hours per week, and take longer vacations. There is no motivation to come to work early, work hard, or stay late. A major setback is that most professionals in socialist countries are migrating to capitalistic countries due to high taxation and other non-incentive issues.

Recap:

Understanding countries and their respective economic and political system will help you to put your investment in the right place where it will grow and prosper for the better. Also, focusing on your business goals, and deciding on which countries you are comfortable with, will guide you into accepting a suitable economic system. In all, it all depends on how hard you want to work in order to make the profits you desire, or how lazy you want to be to receive government social programs.

Sustainable Development and Western Civilization – Are They Compatible?

We hear a lot about “sustainable development” these days. Although there is much diversity of opinion about just what it entails and how, specifically, to achieve it, there is a strong consensus among ecologists and environmental scientists that it’s an absolutely necessary condition for the future survival of civilization and, quite possibly, of the human species.

Peter Russell, who has established an impressive track record as a cutting-edge scientist, author, futurist and spiritual leader, was one of the first to recognize the urgency of developing and implementing effective solutions in this regard.

Many years ago, he authored a very prescient and eye-opening article on this unprecedented problem. Although our global crises have worsened markedly since that time, his comprehensive analysis about sustainable development continues to provide much wisdom and food for thought.

In this article, he points to a number of key facts that seriously challenge whether sustainable development is compatible with the core assumptions underlying Western civilization. In doing so, he emphasizes that his intent is not to invalidate or discard these assumptions, but rather to provide a broader perspective on the urgent crises that we face and to elucidate some of the potential pitfalls of proposed solutions.

The following is a brief summary of his arguments in this regard:

  • Is Growth Sustainable? Growth lies at the heart of our current crisis. The consumption of an average Westerner today is 100 times greater than it was 200 years ago at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. During this same period, population has increased 10 times, resulting in a 1000-fold increase in total consumption and a corresponding degree of waste and pollution.

Given the current projection that population will double over the next three decades, this means that there will be a corresponding doubling of production, consumption, and pollution over this same time period. Moreover, since per capita consumption will almost certainly increase with the ongoing development of third world countries, this is a highly conservative estimate.

Constant economic growth, both at the corporate and national levels, is widely assumed to be a necessary condition for economic health. If current rates continue over the next century, this would add, conservatively, at least 1300% to the present level of consumption.

  • Zero Growth: The economist, Richard Douthwaite, has argued persuasively in his recent book, “The Growth Illusion,” that in order to be truly sustainable, an economy must show zero material growth. He also presents persuasive evidence showing that economic growth does not raise levels of personal fulfillment and quality of life. Although it is self-evident that constant physical growth cannot continue forever in a finite world, Western capitalism requires such constant growth in order to survive.
  • Is Free Enterprise Sustainable? If economic growth is unsustainable, then the same seems to hold true for the free-enterprise capitalist system that we prize so highly. Although this model is based on the assumption that it serves the common good, one of its shortcomings is that it fails to take human psychology fully into account. That is, it does not allow for the wide range of highly deceptive behaviors-i.e., theft, fraud, corruption, etc.-that do NOT serve the common good. Moreover, this corruption undermines caring for the environment.
  • Getting Away with the Minimum: With regard to activities that cause damage to the environment, there is abundant evidence that self-interest often leads people and corporations to do the least possible in conforming to laws and regulations. Therefore, the model that promoted the common good at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution may have some major shortcomings in a global community with global problems.
  • Is Interest Sustainable? Charging interest may unintentionally exacerbate our global crisis. As with the free enterprise system itself, to question it may seem like heresy. Although it is now taken for granted, it’s actually a fairly recent accepted practice-one that has been widely denounced and/or proscribed historically. This continues to be true today in some Muslim countries. The reasons for this are both moral and economic: A) The accumulation of compound interest is unsustainable in the long term; B) it fosters a marked imbalance of wealth, with the rich getting richer and the poor becoming poorer; C) it entails no input of human labor and thereby is a way of getting something for nothing; D) it inevitably results in inflation and, thereby, to the need for progressive economic growth.
  • Is Western Democracy Sustainable? In order for political leaders to get elected, they must pander to the interests of voters who put them in power. Very commonly, however, voters are mainly motivated by their short-term self-interest, rather than long-term sustainable development. The current lack of popular support for strong action to curb global climate change provides a clear-cut example of this, as does the failure of the European Green Parties to fulfill their initial promise in protecting the environment.
  • Is Individual Liberty Sustainable? A final questionable assumption is that citizens will voluntarily opt to support a program of sustainable development. Thus far, there is little evidence to support this assumption; on the contrary, there is considerable evidence that a large segment of the U.S. citizenry continues to be in strong denial about the magnitude and urgency of current global crises. This is psychologically linked to a strong attachment to current lifestyles, along with the difficulty in perceiving that personal sacrifices would actually make a difference in helping to resolve these crises.

After examining the validity of these various assumptions, Mr. Russell argues that a broad systems approach is optimal in finding adequate solutions to the global crisis. Not only must this approach include all of the relevant environmental parameters, but be further expanded to take into account all of the economic, social, political and individual psychological factors that are essential to success.

In addressing these latter factors, he posits that a key root cause of our global crisis consists in the collective misguided attempts of Westerners to find internal peace through pervasive materialistic addictions. The resulting compulsive consumption contributes greatly to all forms of environmental destruction. He sees this prevailing pattern most basically as an outdated mode of consciousness, or a lack of personal maturation.

Accordingly, if we are to stop this mindless race to self-destruction, we must find a way to greatly accelerate the process of maturation from a materialistic-based lifestyle to one that is firmly grounded in the wisdom of deep spirituality-one that deconstructs the illusion of separate self-hood and entails the clear recognition that humans are seamlessly interdependent with all other life forms on this planet.

Russell calls for a new “Apollo Project” to implement this radical solution. You can access his article, as well as his extensive other work as a futurist and highly respected spiritual leader at my website below.

Why We Can’t Manage Without Environmental Research

We know about global warming. We know about climate change. But often, we tend to view these as quite abstract concepts that don’t affect us yet. Those people who are professionals in environmental research know that this is not something that has crept up on us. These changes have been happening for years, and they are becoming critical if our current lifestyle and even the continuation of the human race is to remain unthreatened. However, professional environmental consultants also know that with effective environmental research, we can do something practical about the destruction of our natural environment, while developing our societies in harmony with that environment.

All too often, people close their ears to information about the natural resources we are losing because they see it as an inevitable part of our modern lifestyle. Many believe that unless we want to miss out on opportunities and things we wish to do, we have to sacrifice nature. That is not the case, and it is why you need to be aware of a professional environmental consulting company who can help you find a compromise between the needs of nature, the demands of modern life and economic necessities.

Wetland management is just one such discipline in the South Florida area and in North Carolina and Palm Beach County. Wetlands are essential to many other ecosystems and their management requires expert knowledge of aquatic and terrestrial biota sampling and surveys of endangered species. Once these are done, by the professionals, one can implement projects with certainty, knowing that they can be tackled with respect to the natural environment.

Wetlands, whether restored or created specifically for the intention of conservation of endangered species, need good management if they are to thrive. Several environmental consulting companies have performed several such projects through South Florida, North Carolina and Palm Beach County. They all require permits to be given from federal, state or local agencies before the projects can even start. Ongoing compliance with the permits is essential to maintain the project’s legality and protect its funding. Monitoring of such environmental projects has to be done by expert and the right environmental consulting company can take care of this for you. Environmental consulting companies will ensure that you maintain a functional project and meet all environmental permit conditions.

Other important environmental projects necessitate a multi-disciplinary approach to apply scientific research to planning and management in a variety of areas. This is important to ensure that the project is planned and implemented in the most effective way. Professional environmental consulting companies work in both the public and private sectors to find ways to protect the environment while also being mindful of the need for economic and social development.

Environmental management typically involves photographic logs, statistical and quantitative vegetation and hydrologic success records. It also requires measures to be put into place to protect native species and to restrict invasion by exotic species as well as monitoring of wildlife in order to measure the efficacy of the environmental projects. It also has to bear in mind the social and economic impact, so that people and business can live in harmony alongside nature. It isn’t always an easy equation, but environmental consultants help to balance it.