What is a Sustainable Society?


Given the readily apparent consequences of dramatic climate change and the approaching limits of the planets resources, the great majority of Canadians recognize the need for change. However, our efforts to date indicate we believe a sustainable society is our current society spray painted green. It is unlikely Mother Nature will support this business-as-usual model.

What This Means for Canada

Canada needs to be aware of its own specific biophysical realities, the energy demands of its northern climate and the limitations of our renewable energy resources. Life in Canada requires high energy consumption. Current population and consumption levels have been enabled by abundant fossil fuels and their inherent storage capability. Renewable energy will not sustain this level of energy consumption or convenience.

What Can You Do?

Lowest hanging fruit – highest return for lowest cost. — Electrify cars and ground transport ASAP. Scale back oil sands as it is very low net energy, high emissions, extreme legacy costs and a net money loser for taxpayers. Note that conventional oil and natural gas are likely net money makers for Canadian taxpayers. Strategize future investment. No eastern pipeline needed as ground transportation will be converted to electric within 30 years. Conservation across all sectors – it is cheaper to save energy and material than it is to produce them. Streamline regulatory processes to encourage district heating/electrical grids and micro-grid initiatives. Optimize surfaces of buildings for energy harvesting. Abandon the pursuit of endless growth, the developer and financial institution economic paradigm of “populating the north” and “filling the country up” etc.
Current population and consumption levels in Canada have been enabled by abundant fossil fuels and their inherent storage capability. Renewable energy will not sustain this level of energy consumption or convenience.
Besides climate, soil is agriculture's major limitation. All societies are ultimately built on the productivity of the land as neatly summarized in the saying "No soil, no civilization."
Urban sprawl is possibly the most high-profile impact of growing and shifting populations. It has large and immediate consequences for people and communities by increasing congestion, making housing unaffordable, increasing debt, and degrading the environment of the surrounding area.
Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction and our ego satisfaction in consumption. We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced and discarded at an ever-increasing rate.

Spread the Word

Share our message. Link to our site from your own, share us on social media, talk about the issues we share here on community boards. You are free to use our logos and information to help share our message – whatever you can do to get the word out about what we’re doing will help bring more awareness to our cause and the need for a more sustainable Canada.

Follow Along on Canada's Path to Sustainability

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