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UNLEARNING as a sustainability strategy?
What does not being able to ride a bike have to do with sustainable development? Or rather of course UNsustainable development, which is the dominant and to now apparently unbreakable pattern? Thousands of conferences have been organized, more thousands of books printed,programs launched, actions organized, treaties signed, promises made (and broken), and despite all that and by just about all valid indicators, the bottom line of our unsustainability continues tragically to deteriorate, to destroy our gasping planet. As you can see here:
Asking the mayor of Freedonia to walk the talk
Freedonia City Hall, 20 June 2015.09:00. The mayor is comfortably seated at his imposing desk, looking fondly at an unlit cigar. After a lengthy wait and a nod from the imposing receptionist, the editor of World Streets knocks lightly and waits timidly at the door, entirely drenched and more than a bit disheveled. Not a pretty sight.
The Mayor: Well sir, you are a fine mess. Careful there, you are dripping on my favorite chair. Continue reading
Penang. May 18, 2015. The Star Online – http://www.thestar.com.my/
The company which won a Penang Island City Council (MBPP) tender to create the system has postponed the launch of the project, which was supposed to roll out this month.
Public Bike Share Sdn Bhd chief executive officer and founder Hubert Fong said he was concerned that the take-up rate for bike commuting among Penangites was too slow for the system to be in demand.
“We need more people to be willing to use bicycles for commuting. Although we see more people getting on board, the numbers are growing too slowly,” he said.
Working notes for June 5th Master Class presentation to the IFPEN-School Paris
Summary: The thesis of this presentation is (a) that the combinations of technologies, operations and institutional arrangements which today define the transport sector are so grossly inefficient, inappropriate and so thoroughly locked into the system, that only a major paradigm change will be capable of shaking them up. Our unexpected good luck is (b) that such a tectonic pattern change is currently in full swing. However, as often happens, they are not broadly spotted or understood. And (c) this opens up an unexpected and most welcome opportunity.
There can be no doubt that (d) our uppermost public policy target today has to be the planetary emergency (global warming, resource depletion and species extinctions). Tragically (e) the reality of present practices is that this message has still to get through. Under these circumstances the imperative first step is to become aware of it and then to seek its implications, which is in fact the goal of this presentation.
In the case of our sector, (f) the critical link between transport and climate is energy, and this from two strategic perspectives. First (g) the enormous and as yet largely untapped potential for major near-term advances, at relatively low cost. Even more decisive is the enormous near-term potential of the transition from fossil fuels to renewables in the transport sector. This is the lifeline of the future of our planet, no less. And the message should be taken to the December UN COP21 Climate Change Conference in Paris.
The climate/transport link transits directly via the energy sector. Conceptually the relationships are very simple. Reality is of course quite another thing.
Our immediate emergency target (climate change, resource depletion, and species extinctions) is to find ways to combine technologies and procedures which will allow us to virtually eliminate carbon-based fuels and impacts in a necessary short amount of time.
We would be foolish, we would be irresponsible beyond pardon, if we do not start by understanding and accepting that the world climate emergency is the most important single policy issue of our time. All of our decisions and actions from this points on must be tempered by the planetary challenges that threaten us today: climate change, resource depletion, and species extinctions.