Monday, 11 March 2013

Plan C blog

We hear a lot about Plan ‘A’ and Plan ‘B’ at the moment, as the downturn drags on. Plan A describes continuing austerity and Plan B (not to be confused with the successful band!) trumpets stimulus with, of course, the attendant increases in debt. Just now, with the UK, following France and the US, in losing its AAA credit rating the debate is intensifying in the run up to the budget next month. The official line is ‘stick to Plan A at all costs’. In fact, the debate in the UK has shifted to a more pessimistic note of whether or not to deepen and hasten the cuts.

But you could argue that Plan A and Plan B are two sides of the same coin, offering the same kind of progress, or lack thereof, through different means – if based on divergent economic philosophies. What people may prefer is a Plan ‘C’, with more fundamental re-thinking of what progress really means and how we achieve it, some clever alternatives based on pressing economic, social and environmental issues? Sustainable development provides us with underpinnings for such questioning. It focuses on intergenerational and intragenerational equity. It sets the stewardship of limit resources at the heart of the debate and seeks ways of co-operation ahead of exploitation and disproportional consumption.

May be sustainability offers a value as a source of important questions as much as it provides technocratic answers? It is easy to get sucked into detailed issues of low-carbon energy production or recycling – albeit important subjects (see the advice on this website) – without considering the bigger picture. As well as mastering the mass of information available, it is simply being involved in this debate that this site also tries to foster. This helps you to feel, and genuinely be, part of something important that affects us all.

We encourage you to get in contact with and preferably join or support local sustainability groups. There are many green business networks, sustainable/transition town initiatives, recycling schemes and school or college based projects. Let us know what you are doing, and what interests you. Tell us what’s going on out there (regardless of where you are) and how we either have helped or can help. Send us stories we can pass on. It is so encouraging for everyone else and provides a richness of practical detail too!

David Jackman

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