HEADS-UP: Sustainability is boring

In this amusing essay Dr Braungart asks whether the current focus on sustainability is boring and unpicks some of the common perceptions about the issues the world faces in adapting for a more sustainable future.

An excerpt:

“If you take the total weight of the planet’s ants on one hand and the total weight of human beings on the other, you’ll see that the ants’ weight is four times higher. It is not only the number, but ants weigh out human beings. Further they have a much shorter life span than we have. And because they work much harder physically than we do, the calorie consumption of ants equals about 30 billion people.

“It is clearly not about the fact that we are too many. Ants don’t produce waste. They don’t need to minimize waste. They produce nutrients. Again it is a design question. We are just too stupid to do the right design. If we follow the “cradle to grave” approach, we will always end up with reducing, avoiding, minimizing and need of guilt-management: feeling less bad could also be called eco-efficiency. Well, eco-efficiency is really ugly. I know, we currently read the opposite in design magazines. But I want to point out that efficiency doesn’t resolve anything. It just makes it perfectly wrong. If you do something wrong, don’t make it perfect, because then it is perfectly wrong.”

Where: Hilton Hotel, Auckland

When: Today (September 1)

More information here.

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