What Is Sustainable

The Earth Crisis is a crazy dance of seven-point-something billion people making a mess of the planet.  It is a huge and complex problem with ancient roots.  The long-term ideal would be a transition to sustainable living, a mode that most cultures have forgotten.  What does sustainable mean?  A sustainable way of life is one that can survive for many thousands of years without diminishing the ecosystem.  Long ago, our ancestors lived in a relatively sustainable way.

Today, variations of the word sustainable can be heard and read dozens of times per day.  Beware!  Almost always, the word is used to present a fantasy of purely ersatz sustainability — like saving the world by shopping or magical thinking.  The goals of this book are far more dignified and elevated.  It attempts to understand good old-fashioned fundamentalist sustainability.  The four directions of this book are sustainable population, sustainable worldview, sustainable food, and reconnection with our past, our ancestors, and our non-human relatives — the living world.

We live in an era of big uncomfortable changes, and the future promises more of the same.  Our current mode of living is in a process of disintegration, for many reasons, and its collapse cannot be prevented.  Many possible paths lie before us, and some of them may have a future.  By definition, unsustainable ways of living can only be temporary.

We are screwed if we don’t understand the authentic meaning of sustainability.  Dreaming of a sustainable future based on high technology or abundant energy is magical thinking.  There is no amazing silver bullet solution to the Earth Crisis that lies buried under a big rock somewhere, just waiting to be found.  It is naïve to imagine that the generation alive today can set everything right.  Healing will take centuries, but all of us are capable of making generous contributions to the process.

In writing this book, I made a deliberate effort to think outside of our standard worldview and its myths.  I made an effort to present ideas from a perspective that is more Earth-centered, closer to the perspective of our ancestors who lived sustainably.  The path to healing is primarily going to be a head trip.  Healing begins when we make a decision to accept responsibility for our lives, when we weed out toxic beliefs, when we understand eco-history, when we spend more time outdoors, when we move in the direction of clear thinking.

This book is not a catalog of solutions.  It does not provide detailed instructions for the correct path home.  It does not reveal the one and only Truth.  It explores many realms of knowledge, and expresses many controversial opinions.  Don’t trust me.  Learn for yourself and think for yourself.  One thing is certain: the future demands a radically more intelligent worldview and skill set — and a genuinely healthy future will have little in common with the way we live today.

What is Sustainable is available as a modestly priced paperback, or as a bargain priced Kindle download.  At the Amazon page for this book, the Look Inside feature is enabled, which allows you to examine the table of contents, and view sample sections.

Kindle downloads can be read on your computer, tablet, or phone using free software — you don’t need to buy a Kindle.  Lending is enabled, so buyers can temporarily “lend” the digital book to a friend.  Also, Amazon Prime members can “borrow” the book from Amazon, free of charge.  This book is enrolled in the Kindle MatchBook program, which allows those who have purchased the paperback to buy the Kindle version at a large discount.

The paperback should be available via most independent booksellers.  Approved booksellers can buy books at wholesale prices via CreateSpace Direct.