Where Progress Meets Sustainability?

  • Posted on: 30 May 2017
  • By: Cathy McGuire

I’ve been bouncing around various websites recently: OpenSourceEcology.Org, Sun4Living.Com, EasternBioplastics.com, OpenSourceBeehives.net, and looking at the ways that entrepreneurs are working to build tools and processes that they believe will be sustainable or at least a bridge into the post-oil future. And all of them seem to be a mix of the belief in Progress and the desire for Sustainability.

It’s interesting to read their organizational descriptions, their progress reports and their sales pitches – because it’s a sometimes grating, sometimes uplifting combination of modern hype and green hope. There are some good things being done out there, to describe what the challenges might be and to look for alternate ways of addressing them. I was fascinated by the idea of bioplastics (thought I don’t know enough to say whether the techniques are polluting or even viable). These are probably good examples of what JMG calls “dissensus” (spelling?), because each assumes a variety of “givens”, including resources, power, labor, etc.

They are all looking for “partners” – folks who will join them (and/or chip in money), and most seem to be in the beginning of their process, but there are some concretes to show.

What do you think about creating “bridge industries” – worth jumping in, or is it too uncertain right now to make large investments? What would it take for you to commit to a project that might last a couple years?