Worldwatch Institute Symposium – April 2013 Is Sustainability Still Possible?

On Tuesday, April 16, the Worldwatch Institute held its seventeenth annual State of the World Symposium to launch its latest book, State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible? As contributors to the book, Pat Murphy and Faith Morgan were invited to attend the event, where Pat spoke on one of several panels. The complex topic of sustainability was addressed along with the need to measure it in order to prepare for the currently unsustainable future toward which we are making quick strides. The symposium was held in Washington, but an online live stream of the panels was offered for those of us who could not make it to D.C.

Hypocrites in the air: should climate change academics lead by example?

From the World Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers through to Stern and the International Energy Agency, analyses increasingly demonstrate how, without urgent and radical reductions in emissions, global temperatures are set to rise by 4°C or higher – with, as the IEA emphasise, “devastating” repercussions for the planet. But whose responsibility is it to initiate such radical mitigation?

Let’s stop fooling ourselves: Americans can’t afford the future

The American spirit is rooted in the belief of a better tomorrow. Its success has been due to generations of men and women who toiled, through both hardship and boom times, to make that dream a reality. But at some point over the past several decades, that hope for a better tomorrow became an expectation. Or perhaps a perceived entitlement is more accurate.

In the end, sometimes giving things up *IS* the answer

About five years ago a colleague of mine, Dale Allen Pfeiffer wrote an essay I can no longer locate. At the time, Colony Collapse Disorder was just being diagnosed in bees, and one of the discussed potential causes of the problem was cell phones and cell phone towers. Pfeiffer didn’t, as I remember, take a stand on this question as a cause, but what he did do was interview people and ask “If it was true that cell phones caused CCD, and knowing that we depend on bees for a large portion of our food, would you give up your cell phone to save the bees?” The answer, overwhelmingly, was no.