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Sustainable Solutions ~ December 2014


Sustainable Solutions ~ December 2014

by Sam Euston

When employing Sustainable Solutions, we need to structure them on a foundation that is accountable for impacts on our planet’s life-support system. Our belief that we can control nature and its cycles has proven false over time. And, as Andrew Kimbrell (E.D. for the Center of Food Safety) recently conveyed: “ Milton Friedman’s economics has not been taught in our schools of fish, and the supply and demand model; has not been explained to our rivers, trees, biosphere or other natural resources.”

So where to begin? 

Through the adoption of principles that demonstrate our stewardship to our community, as well as planet.  Let’s explore Foundation Earth’s “Principles of A True Cost Economy”, and employ it as a guide.  Note: The principles are excerpts from Randy Hayes, Economics Of Sustainability Conference Presentation.

#1. Interdependence Principle: Nature nourishes all things and considers sustainability for our community, planet, living species and humans.

#2. Responsibility Principle:
a) Each generation is responsible to leave, less and less of an ecological footprint (regardless of population numbers, consumption rates, or technology choices).
b) Every human has a duty to protect diversity, within this holistic framework.

#3. Caring Capacity Principle:
a) Free markets demonstrate ecological responsibility. 
b) Adherence to the True Cost Principle:
c) Pollution is factored into the price paid for goods produced.
d) Ecologically cleanest products (under true cost), become cost-effective.

#4. Non-Commodification of Nature Principle: Not every aspect of nature is a commodity. Example: clean air is a non-commodity. Preservation is primary. 

#5. Precautionary Principle: In regard to technology:  when in doubt, play it safe.
a) “Burden of proof is placed on the producers /advocates of new technology. They demonstrate the contribution, as well as the “price” of pollution. They also demonstrate how the technology, leaves less and less of an ecological footprint.   

#6. Compassionate Local Self Reliance Principle: The provision and encouragement for support and networking with economies throughout the continent.
a) Primary global trade is based on art, culture and ideas, not just physical products. 
b) Based on compassionate self-reliance, the bio-region reaches out; offering help to their neighbor, even if  on the other side of the planet.
c) Foreign Aid policy includes helping other regions around the world, focus on becoming more self-reliant.  
d) Support includes not just food, clothing & shelter (the primaries), but also considers items that assist in creating and sustaining a dignified life.

#7. Closed Loop Principle: Each economy needs to essentially provide:
a) Zero waste.
b) Demonstration of a production system that includes the waste or byproduct of one process or product, is utilized in making another product.
c) Inclusion of sustainable production and consumption systems.

#8. Feedback Principle:
a) Living systems need a feedback structure in place in order to be self-correcting. 
b) Humanity needs a feedback loop for sustainable re-alignment & accountability.
c) The economy requires a feedback loop to maintain its sustainability.
d) Examples include: Genuine Progress Indicator, Happiness Index. The GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), has proved to be less than effective and there is a proposal from Foundation Earth to employ their new report titled:  Mandatory Corporate Ecological Impact Disclosure Report This is a report that we in Sonoma County could begin to implement, a copy can be located at:

If we care about our Sonoma County and our planet, we need to adopt principles that demonstrate our responsible stewardship. Gayle McLaughlin (Richmond Mayor) is an inspirational forerunner, whom we can learn much from, and emulate.  Recently George Lakeoff (Cognitive Science & Linguistics Professor at UC Berkeley) stated that we have 35 years to get ourselves on track. Our time, our actions, our principles are needed Now!