DELVING MORE DEEPLY INTO SUSTAINABILITY
The overwhelming weight of informed scientific opinion now says
that there is very strong evidence that the amount of fossils
fuel that we burn is the biggest cause of the increase in the greenhouse
effect, which is the major cause of climate change. So, if
we do things to ‘benefit the environment’ but do not do anything
to reduce our use of fossil fuels, then we are merely tinkering around
at the edges. If we do not take into consideration the impact
of our lifestyles (our energy use and our purchases) on people with very
low incomes elsewhere on the planet, then we are not dealing
with sustainable development.
Climate change is the big urgent threat, but how does it relate to
poverty and hunger? Climate change will affect all of us (and may be
doing so already) but it is the poor who suffer worst and first. It
is the poor who are affected most by flooding, major storms, desertification
When climate change produces a rise in sea level, which makes life
impossible in Holland and Bangladesh, what will happen? The population
of Holland will not die, they will move. Accommodating these people
will create problems for Europe but it will happen.
The population of Bangladesh will have to try to move. It is difficult
to imagine what would happen. It will create enormous problems
for the neighbouring countries and it is impossible to imagine
it happening without millions of people dying.
It has been calculated that each person in Europe consumes three times
their share of the world’s resources. Each person in Bangladesh
consumes a third of their share of the world’s resources.
• So, we need to think about social, environmental and economic
issues, both as consumers and designers
• We need to think through the implications of our personal decisions?
• We CAN make a difference, by adding serious thinking about
sustainability issues to the rest of our thinking as Design and Technology