Presentation on theme: "Art Lersch UW-Extension, Lincoln County Merrill, WI October 26, 2010."— Presentation transcript:
Art Lersch UW-Extension, Lincoln County Merrill, WI October 26, 2010
Learning Objectives Better understanding of what “sustainable” means when talking about communities in general and Merrill. Better understanding of why becoming more sustainable may be necessary. Basic knowledge of The Natural Step. Learning about sustainability initiatives in Wisconsin.
How many of you have heard of “sustainable communities?” Please describe in your own words what you think the term means.
Sustainable Communities “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” Brundtland Report (1987)
Company Sales Production Research & Design People Equipment Processes Systems Approach Source: Systems Thinking Basics, Anderson & Johnson
Budget for Engineering Department Systems and Causation budget cuts lead to Administrative Lay-offs which increases Engineer’s Workloads which damages Morale which leads to Engineers Leaving which adds more to Source: Systems Thinking Basics, Anderson & Johnson
Can you provide a “ripple effect” systems example from your work or home life?
Evolving Views of the Community Unconnected or silos viewInterconnected or linkages view Interdependent, nested, or systems view Environment Economy Society Environment Economy Society Environment Society Economy
Sustainability Assumes an Interdependent Community Environment Economy Society Evolving views of the community
Four Scientific Conditions “Nature is not subject to systematically increasing substances extracted from the Earth’s crust” Fossil fuels (coal, Peak Oil, Peak Water) BP Spill Metals and minerals that cannot breakdown any further James and Lahti, “The Natural Step for Communities” (Many communities striving to become more sustainable are making these types of assumptions)
“Nature is not subject to systematically increasing concentration of substances produced by society.” Manufacturing of chemical substances faster than they can be broken down
“Nature is not subject to systematically increasing degradation by physical means.” Depletion and destruction of natural systems faster than they can renew themselves
“People are not subject to conditions that systematically undermine their capacity to meet their needs.” The first three system conditions will not be met unless people around the world can meet their basic human needs
Global Fossil Fuel Emissions Boden, T.A., G. Marland, and R.J. Andres. 2010. Global, Regional, and National Fossil-Fuel CO 2 Emissions. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A. doi 10.3334/CDIAC/00001_V2010; Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center website
“The year-round average air temperature in the United States has already risen by more than 2 degrees [Fahrenheit] over the past 50 years and is projected to increase further in the future.” Source: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, Karl, Thomas R., Melillo, Jerry M., Peterson, Thomas C. (eds.). Cambridge University Press (2009).
“ About one-third of the world’s population lives in countries with moderate-to-high water stress, defined by the United Nations to be water consumption that exceeds 10 percent of renewable freshwater resources.” Peak Water, Chapter 1 in The World’s Water, 2008-2009.
Population & Consumption Ecosystems Forests Water Wildlife Soil Closing margin for action
Even if none of the assertions or projections about global warming, peak oil, peak water, etc. are true, which some have argued, why might it still be a good idea to strive for a sustainable community?
Whether you believe the science or not (Why do this?) Could save substantial money (transportation costs, just in time inventory, less travel for products reduces damage, the “trend” today; quicker turn around for special orders; home energy savings) Bolsters local businesses (business to business exchange; helps create interdependent business districts where everyone “feeds off of” on another ) Multiplier effect (money that stays in the community is spent several times over, increasing positive economic impacts) Fosters community collaboration/spirit (local tastes are catered to and met helping to create a sense of place) The vision is very worthwhile (preserving things for future generations can’t be all bad!)
Does a self sustaining community promote that community’s isolation and lead it to ignore globalization? (or even what is going on immediately around it)
Science based Work in progress (several iterations) Similar to strategic planning, but inserting the sustainability guidelines (baseline for planning) Applicable to for profits and non profits Dr. Karl-Henrik Robert (1989; scientist)
Population & Consumption Ecosystems Forests Water Wildlife Soil Closing margin for action
Eliminate community’s contribution to fossil fuel dependence and to wasteful use of scarce metals and minerals. Eliminate community’s contribution to depen- dence on persistent chemicals and wasteful use of synthetic sub- stances. Eliminate community’s contribution to encroach- ment upon nature. Meet human needs fairly and efficiently. James and Lahti, “The Natural Step for Communities,” pgs. 9 + 10 Add sustainability guidelines
Action Plan: Ask… “Does the action go in the direction of all four systems conditions (i.e. sustainability guidelines) simultaneously?” “Does the action create a flexible platform for future actions, or does it create a blind alley?” (in other words, planning ahead) Will the action give a good return on investment? (social and environmental as well as economic) James and Lahti, “The Natural Step for Communities”
Elements of Successful Planning Fire Souls Education: Raising awareness Official endorsement of sustainability operating principles (eco-municipality resolution) Involve the implementers (buy-in) Applying the Compass: Sustainability framework, inventory, vision, actions Whole plan endorsement (plans that are not officially sanctioned may be of little use) Keeping it going (remains part of ongoing policy, administrative apparatus) James and Lahti, “The Natural Step for Communities, pgs. 203-221”
Exercise What might be the steps that you and others could take to achieve a more sustainable community in Merrill?
Wisconsin Eco-municipalities City of WashburnDane County City of AshlandTown of Greenville City of MadisonCity of Reedsburg City of BayfieldVillage of Sherwood Town of Bayfield Douglas County Village of Johnson Creek City of Marshfield City of Manitowoc City of Neenah City of Menasha Town of Menasha City of Eau Claire Town of Cottage Grove City of La Crosse La Crosse County City of Stevens Point City of Wausau City of Beloit City of Baraboo City of Sheboygan Dunn County Village of Spring Green Village of Colfax
1. Reduce dependence upon fossil fuels and extracted underground metals and minerals; 2. Reduce dependence on chemicals and other manufactured substances that can accumulate in Nature; 3. Reduce dependence on activities that harm life sustaining ecosystems; and 4. Meet the hierarchy of present and future human needs fairly and efficiently. Points Commonly Made in Resolutions This language was developed by the American Planning Association.
Wisconsin Resources UWEX Sustainability Website (Capacity Center; http://www3.uwsuper.edu/sustainability/ ) http://www3.uwsuper.edu/sustainability/ Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence UW-Extension, Madison, Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center (SHWEC; Sherrie Gruder) UW-Superior, Northern Center for Community and Economic Development (Jerry Hembd) UW Center for Land Use Education (CLUE; Lynn Markham Sustain Dane (http://www.sustaindane.org/)http://www.sustaindane.org/ Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wisconsin- Sustainable-Business-Council/169121573596)http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wisconsin- Sustainable-Business-Council/169121573596
Next Steps Learn more Sustainability discussion group (study circles) Advocate for eco-municipality designation Go through a Natural Step process
Sources The Natural Step for Communities; Sarah James, Torbjorn Lahti The Natural Step Story; Karl Henrik Robert Building Sustainable Communities (Presentation); Jerry Hembd, UW-Superior UWEX Sustainability Website (Capacity Center; http://www3.uwsuper.edu/sustainability/ ) http://www3.uwsuper.edu/sustainability/ Presentation slides from UWEX Sustainability Workshop Brundtland Report (1987) The World’s Water, 2008-2009 Systems Thinking Basics; Virginia Anderson, Laura Johnson Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, Karl, Thomas R., Melillo, Jerry M., Peterson, Thomas C. (eds.). Cambridge University Press (2009). Global, Regional, and National Fossil-Fuel CO 2 Emissions. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A. Boden, T.A., G. Marland, and R.J. Andres. 2010.