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RS 301 - Final Paper - Strategies for Regenerative Design

RS 301 - Final Paper - Strategies for Regenerative Design -...

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Lloyd 1 S. Lloyd Professor Wolf RS 301 Fall, 2009 Strategies for Regenerative Design I am not an environmentalist. I don’t live in a house made of recycled newspaper and tires. I have never handcuffed myself to a tree, and I don’t grow organic lettuce. In fact, most of the time, living a regenerative lifestyle does not seem attractive. And yet, despite my apparent resistance, it is hard not to question my position when I consider the serious environmental predicament that we are in. Generally, I avoid hype and drama, preferring instead to rebel with divergent opinion or ignore the issue completely. This is what I have done with the issues of environmental degradation and sustainability. Now the situation is different; my initial research has shown that the conversation has changed, or as Claire Cummings puts it in her essay, Ripe for Change: Agricultures Tipping Point , “something happens to raise the stakes. Now, lumbering onto center stage comes a real monster, global warming, and the conflict shifts from being about how we feed ourselves to whether we survive at all.” (1) I find Cumming’s statement provocative; she succeeds in capturing the gravity of our current global environmental problem, by introducing agriculture and food production as a vehicle for provocation and analysis. What better way to capture interest than to question one’s own mortality. In essence, there is currently a growing environmental movement that is focused on regenerative lifestyle and sustainable processes. This movement is evidenced by the increased media coverage, and subsequent social awareness, and interest in environmental
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Lloyd 2 discourse. I think the environmental hype is due in part to the confusing nature of sustainability. To begin with, I was not able to find a firm, and universally accepted definition for sustainable, regenerative development. Essentially, these processes can be defined in many ways; the one that I prefer to use is that of the World Commission on Environment and Development: “development that meets the needs of the present world without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Furthermore, I was not able to find compelling evidence of reliable testing methods that produced consistent and quantifiable results that could gauge success, failure, or progress. With all this in mind, my sense of the situation, is that definitions, principles, and even conceptions, of regenerative and sustainable processes are still being developed, but at the core, an associated lifestyle is centered on the health of human societies and the natural environment. Some might say that this view is naive, optimistic, or even diluted, but I contend that they are being reactionary. The truth is that the ecological problems humans face are huge and people are scared. Climate change is the biggest challenge that we face in the world today and many people either don’t understand the causal relationship a sustainable versus a consumption based, degenerative lifestyle.
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RS 301 - Final Paper - Strategies for Regenerative Design -...

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