So… why does sustainability matter? The answer may sound obvious or intuitive on a personal level, but there is certainly no consensus among politicians or the general public. From an ethical or philosophical standpoint, you may be wondering what we owe to the environment, the natural world around us. How can you sell sustainability to a skeptic or convince them to make environmentally conscious decisions? And why should you put your time and effort into environmental science courses or an online sustainability course? Researchers and advocates are continually working to articulate the importance of sustainability and radical action against climate change. No one can cover the entire scope of the issue, but here is a simple breakdown of ten reasons why sustainability should matter to everyone.
- Sustainability matters because caring for the planet is an expression of our humanity and interconnectivity
- Sustainability matters because climate change has measurable social, economic and medical consequences
- Sustainability matters because the adverse effects of climate change disproportionately affect less wealthy countries and individuals who are already struggling
- Sustainability matters because society has concrete obligations to future generations who will inherit the world
- Sustainability matters because environmental responsibility is an expression of Indigenous sovereignty and land claims
- Sustainability matters because biodiversity will continue to suffer unless we take more radical action to preserve and protect endangered species
- Sustainability matters because many of our natural resources are finite and irreplaceable
- Sustainability matters because food scarcity and insecurity are of real concern to families and societies around the world
- Sustainability matters because pollution can originate anywhere and be experienced across borders
- Sustainability matters because we cannot accurately project how or when technological advances will assist us in overcoming environmental issues
There are countless reasons beyond these ten, but they are a good starting point for anyone who is concerned or confused about the issues at hand. Scientific researchers are constantly building on their knowledge and revising previous assumptions, which makes it prudent for everyday people to do the same.
What can you as an individual do? Get informed and educate yourself about what needs to be done to combat environmental degradation on a global scale. Remember that affordable and accessible continuing education is a powerful tool to combat climate change denial and misinformation. Look for online environmental courses that focus on the correlations between society, environmental degradation and possible engineering solutions or policy changes. Depending on your career path and focus, you may benefit from learning about sustainable efforts for businesses and corporations. ISO certification training covers the rationale and business application of an international standard for quality management and sustainable business practices.
Steps are required beyond our individual efforts to educate ourselves, recycle more and consume less. Environmental advocates, researchers and Indigenous land protectors are calling for policy change and political action around the world. Industry leaders need to be held accountable and consumers deserve to be informed about the environmental impact of various products and services they use. Sustainability matters and we have a moral imperative to do something about it.