J500 Media and the Environment

From Skepticism to Hope: The Lawrence Sustainability Network by jwgc

The Lawrence Sustainability Network, LSN, was born in 2006 of skepticism and hope. LSN’s founders did not believe that politicians could be counted on to halt our society’s steady march toward the precipice of environmental destruction, economic collapse, and social instability. Instead, they believed that individuals would have to decide for themselves to leave the herd and find another path, to find other disaffected souls, and learn to live lightly and sustainably on planet Earth. Herein lies hope, hope for other species, our families, our communities, and hope for the future.

It is not surprising that we must first act individually in the decision to live differently. American society glorifies individualism and competition, teaching each of us that we will sink or swim on our own merits. So it is no small irony that our first steps away from destruction are personal initiatives to develop a collective response. We in LSN believe community building is key to our success. Together we can imagine what a more sustainable world might look like. We can pool our ideas and our resources, and we can share the daunting task of figuring out how to make the transition from where we are to where we want to be. The introduction to LSN’s vision statement, taken from our website, sets out in broad strokes what we would like to accomplish:

Ecological sustainability means living in a way that is mindful of consequences for the future. We envision a community built around livelihood strategies that protect the commons of clean air, soil and water; deliver efficient, affordable, clean and renewable energy; prioritize local food systems; and promote biological diversity so that future generations of people and other species can also satisfy their basic needs. In this community ‘development’ will mean improving the quality of life for all people in the Lawrence area, fostering social justice in the distribution of available resources and opportunities, and fortifying our local economy toward the goal of self-sufficiency. Social relationships are equally important to ecological sustainability; the social world we will advance will be built on mutual aid, trust, equity, and participatory democracy.

A just and healthy world is LSN’s hope for the future. It will take many hands and minds and hearts, coming together in community, to bring it about.

~ Jane Gibson

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