September 17, 2019 at 12:34 pm #195849hmhellenParticipant
To me sustainability means preserving the world and its resources so that future generations can use and enjoy them. I found Solow’s essay very interesting and I was surprised that I agreed with many of his points. Although it is difficult to know exactly what sustainability is
I agree that it is fundamentally an obligation to those that will come after us.
I don’t think aquaculture is a substitute for salmon fisheries since aquaculture is actively harming wild fish. A substitute only works if it takes pressure off of a resource. I would have to draw the line with substitutes at a certain point. The essay states that it is fine for us to use all the aluminum in the world as long as we ensure that future generations have an alternative material to use. What confuses me is if there is an alternative options for future generations than why do we not use it along with aluminum? I also think this mind set can get dangerous when it comes to ecosystems and species. I believe we should do our best to preserve all species on the earth not just for the benefit of future generations but also for the benefit of these species. When it comes to biodiversity and extinctions there are no substitutes. We cannot allow african elephants to go extinct because asian elephants can serve as a substitute for them when they are gone. The use of substitutes I think should only be considered when talking about the resources needed for the survival of humans. Eliminating any resource is dangerous even if it will have a substitute down the line because we don’t know what the future will be like. Things also have value outside of their usefulness to humans that should be considered. Although I have used the word sustainability many times so far, I agree that it is an imperfect term and almost impossible to define. I would also like to note that as the essay mentions because of our privilege it is easier to have conversations about sustainability. It is important to acknowledge that some people do not have the freedom of acting sustainably in the same way we do.September 18, 2019 at 4:16 pm #195888Isabella EricksonParticipant
I agree that you cannot really substitute something in for a species because there is not anything that can truly replace it. The substitute just cannot be equal to the original.September 18, 2019 at 11:24 pm #195924mhhigdonParticipant
I agree with you when you said that the word sustainability is an imperfect term and that there’s not one right way to define it.September 19, 2019 at 8:40 am #195937smoswald2Participant
I definitely agree with your statement that there aren’t substitutes for biodiversity. It’s easy to become wrapped up in the thought that all species are here for human gain and the only reason to manage them and preserve them is so that humans can continue benefitting from harvesting. However, it’s equally important to consider the ecological importance of a species. They may be the species that an entire ecosystem hinges on, and by removing them, a whole ecosystem may collapse. Human gain is not the only thing that should be considered when thinking about sustainability.
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