Ability to sustain





I’ve been wondering what it will take to get our modern world to become more sustainable. With ever greater pushes towards instant gratification, I feel like we’re getting further away from our necessary goal of “limiting” ourselves. Same-day delivery, food of every kind and information at our fingertips all make our quality of life feel great, but at what cost? In order to have things instantly, considerable expenditures of energy need to be readily available. Everything has to come from somewhere.

Many of the crises of our times, and I predict into our future, hinge on our relationship to resource use. The world we live in isn’t infinite. Petroleum, technological innovation, drought and famine are all inter-related. As our global population increases, so too do the needs and wants of the dominant species. We’re not the only ones who feel entitled to iPhones and SUVs and flat-screens with digital-on-demand entertainment; there is a growing world with budding First World tastes. Whether or not we believe in climate change, it is only common sense to err on the side of caution and curtail our excessive resource extraction/use and environmental degradation. In a time when we are constantly making history, it is difficult to see our place in it. We are forgetting our place in a continuum and there will be a legacy from what we do or don’t do now.

A sort of wait and see approach will not prevent potential catastrophe. If we want to keep ramping-up our ability to access instantaneously, we need to find cleaner, renewable sources to fill that hunger. Even then it may not be enough, although if we can somehow become content with less, whatever we gather may sustain us. The answers to our sustainability concerns are varied. Government and private sectors need to be developing clean answers to our dirty problems. Individually we need to become more responsible for how we travel, the food we eat (growing some of it too) and in making the decisions we will face about how we commit our planet to our service. When these kinds of concerns feel hopeless, let’s remember that together we have power in shaping the solutions.

Films worth watching:
Trouble the Water
District 9
Hurt Locker

Ishi graduated from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2001, with a BFA major in photography. He makes films, collects cacti and ponders many things. Currently, he is doing what he can for himself and the planet. contactishi@yahoo.ca.