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The Nature of Sustainability
by Steve A Thomas
We’re good at fixing most problems. We repair the leaky faucet with a wrench, inflate the flat tire with a pump, and brighten the room with a new paint job. We have workable and sensible solutions for the simple, daily issues.
But we aren’t handling the larger, more complicated problems nearly as well. How do we fix a runaway national debt, disappearing communities, an unpredictable job market, political gridlock, a mass extinction, an unstable culture, and an explosion of diseases, among others? Shouldn’t there be some way to address these problems too?
There is a way, but it will require a new understanding—an understanding of why some systems fail and why others succeed, and what types of systems are capable of being sustained. By helping you discover what sustainability is and allowing you to view human endeavors relative to natural processes, this book will take you on a journey beyond the chaotic debates. With that, you may find that you have what you need to understand and confront problems at all levels—no matter how long they’ve been building, and regardless of how large and complex they might seem.
The Nature of Sustainability will provide you with broad new perspectives in areas such as interdependence, wealth and success, waste, successional change, competition and system coordination, timeframes and time lags, group cohesion, group decision making and representation, expression, group formation, government, resilience, invasion, diversity, innovation, and management. In addition, it will expose you to a step-by-step design process and show you how to identify the most sustainable elements of systems and institutions.