Howdy from your Sustainable Development blogger in Santa Monica

Sustainable Development. What does it mean? Why do we care? Although I have some answers, I expect to develop a great many new questions and even more new answers in the coming months and years, as I serve within the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans.

This isn't my first outing in the world of Sustainable Development. When I was growing up, my father was big into recycling newspapers, composting kitchen garbage, and living lightly on the Earth. It just made sense. Four decades ago, it made sense to me not to commute to work but to work from home as much as possible. Now it's a big movement called telecommuting or telework, and it's not only saving billions of gallons of non-renewable fuels every year, it's reducing the need for more roads and bridges, bigger buildings, and larger offices.

So to me a big part of Sustainable Development is not developing at all, but making do with less or getting double duty from a single thing.

It's difficult for me to remember and recount all the adventures I've had in the world of Sustainable Development, but a big one is my relatively small participation in the New Mobililty movement taking shape around the world: Car-Free Days, walkable cities and towns, public transport, urban bike-sharing programs, the Global Village initiative. On just about every continent I know people -- or know of them -- who have dedicated a significant portion of their working energies toward transforming the way we use this planet. I have done a few things to help them. With the material I will contribute to the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans, I plan to do more.

Share my vision for a moment: We're all trapped on a tiny lifeboat bobbing on a large and generally inhospitable ocean. Whatever happens to those of us in the rear of the lifeboat is totally tied up with what happens to those of us in the front. It makes no sense to treat people badly, or allow them to grow up oppressed or uneducated, because we will be living in close quarters with them for the rest of our lives. It makes no sense for people to tear up the hull of the lifeboat to build a fire, or to fill the lifeboat with trash, or to throw food or any other resources over the side. It's a tiny lifeboat, people, and there's nowhere else for us to go. It does make sense, however, to try to make the best use of every valuable molecule at our disposal.

So what's Sustainable Development? In a nutshell, it's the smart way -- really the only sensible way -- to live on a tiny lifeboat Earth. You'll hear all about it, and be welcome to talk all about it, and even put your shoulder to the wheel to help make progress in the right direction, right here.

More later ....

Photo credit: Flickr