Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Steps to sustainability

Excerpt from the book "Another turn of the crank"
By Wendell berry

1. Always ask of any proposed change or innovation : What will this do
to our community? How will this affect our common wealth?
2. Always include local nature – the land, the water, the air, the
native creatures – within the membership of the community
3. Always ask how local needs might be supplied from local sources,
including the mutual help of neighbours.
4. Always supply local needs first. (And only then think of exporting
their products, first to nearby cities, and then to others.)
5. Understand the unsoundness of the industial doctrine of "labor
saving" if that implies poor work, unemployment, or any kind of
pollution or contamination.
6. Develop properly scaled value-adding industries for local products
to ensure that the community does not become merely a colony of the
national or global economy.
7. Develop small-scale industries and businesses to support the local
farm and/or.
forest economy.
8. Strive to produce as much of the community's own energy as possible.
9. Strive to increase earnings (in whatever form) within the community
and decrease expenditures outside the community
10. Make sure that money paid into the local economy circulates within
the community for as long as possible before it is paid out.
11. Make the community able to invest in itself by maintaining its
properties, keeping itself clean (without dirtying some other place),
caring for its old people, teaching its children.
12. See that the old and the young take care of one another. The young
must learn from the old, not necessarily and not always in school.
There must be no institutionalized "child care" and "homes for the
aged." The community knows and remembers itself by the association of
old and young.
13. Account for costs now conventionally hidden or "externalized."
Whenever possible, these costs must be debited against monetary
income.
14. Look into the possible uses of local currency, community-funded
loan programs, systems of barter and the like.
15. Always be aware of the economic value of neighbourly acts. In our
time the costs of living are greatly increased by the loss of
neighbourhood, leaving people to face their calamities alone.
16. A rural community should always be acquainted with, and completely
connected with, community-minded people in nearby towns and cities.
17. A sustainable rural economy will be dependent on urban consumers
loyal to local products. Therefore, we are talking about an economy
that will always be more cooperative than competitive.

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