Sustainability is about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Now, in the early part of the 21st century, there is growing global concern that we are on a path of unsustainability resulting from:
- the growth of world population and its concentration in sprawling cities
- the consumption of finite natural resources, such as soil, water, wood, and minerals, toward a diminishing point
- the use of the atmosphere and the oceans beyond their carrying capacities as sinks for greenhouse gases, especially from the burning of fossil fuels
- increasingly rapid warming of the global climate caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases
Aren’t these concerns so enormous that they must be dealt with by world and national leaders and by scientific experts?
We say, no, not entirely. There is an important role that individuals and local communities can and must play in finding and implementing solutions. Our role in places like Edmonds is to adapt our personal decisions and our community institutions so that we contribute to the world’s return to a sustainable course.
Relationship to the City of Edmonds
Unlike many cities, where the objective of a volunteer citizens’ organization is to convince their city administration to take action on climate change, in Edmonds the initiative came from the city.
The first action on climate change in Edmonds came when Mayor Gary Haakenson signed the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement (http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/mayor/climate/) and formed a committee of city officials, a Planning Board representative, and several citizens. Others were welcome to attend as observers. The committee worked primarily to take action with respect to city-related buildings, vehicles, etc.
The impetus for Sustainable Edmonds came from the realization by citizen members and observers of the Mayor’s Climate Protection Committee that there could be a complementary role for a separate citizens’ group. Such a group could work to achieve objectives now stated on our welcome page.
Part of a network
We are part of SCALLOPS (Sustainable Communities All Over Puget Sound), a network of citizens’ groups with similar purposes.