Analysis Of Alan Atkisson's The Sustainability Transformation

Submitted By christinatroupelynch
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Pages: 5

In Alan AtKisson’s book, The Sustainability Transformation, he discusses how we can transform the way we work and live to better our habits and customs to become more sustainable. In the chapter called Sustainability is Dead; he coaches us on what needs to be done and the key people that contribute in achieving it. AtKisson discusses several transformations that must be done to move toward sustainability behavior. His first suggestion of change is to rebuild and redesign our energy system. This could be the biggest and most important change that will help us achieve a healthy environment. The purpose of transforming our energy systems is to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions that are destroying our ozone layers and consequently harming the environment worldwide. AtKisson advocates, “we need breakthroughs in the spread of solar, wind, hydrogen, and other forms of energy, together with new policies and financial instruments to accelerate the transformation process,” (AtKisson, 2009, p. 306). He also suggests developing a globally coordinated system for managing the global carbon balance at an acceptable level simultaneously while our energy systems are being rebuilt and redesigned. He expresses this combined process because “current best-case scenarios for emission reduction still leave us with an unacceptably warmer world,” (AtKisson, 2009, p. 307). AtKisson’s third suggestion to achieve environmental sustainability is to completely eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons and materials from escaping into the biosphere. This is a goal that will be hard to achieve without a major world-wide acceptable change. It is the governments and terrorists of the world who develop the machinery that makes nuclear weapons. This goal may be hard to achieve because the production of nuclear weapon is typically top secret for security reasons. Consequently, it could be difficult to advocate for change in warfare weapon construction. I think a less invasive solution is to start with the companies and factories that produce the tools, equipment, machines and other apparatus that makes these weapons. This could potentially encourage the development of new machinery that would prevent radioactive materials from accidental leaks that harm the biosphere. AtKisson indicates that these nuclear chemicals “must be contained in perpetuity or transformed into more benign materials, and new technologies, both in science and in social patterns, and must be discovered for achieving either goal,” (AtKisson, 2009, p. 307).
In relation to the goal of nuclear weapon prevention, in goal five, he suggests prevention of global poverty and threat of war because poverty creates ecological destruction, increases social instability, and diminishes our humanity. “War is too dangerous in an era of globally destructive weaponry. Nothing less than the full elimination of these two scourges is sufficient to attain sustainability and establish the full proof of our maturity as a species,” (AtKisson, 2009, p. 307). In correlation of nuclear chemicals deterrence, AtKisson also evokes that all chemicals and materials used in production of goods to be overhauled to prevent toxins from accumulating in the biosphere. This reminds me of the bottled water case study considering the toxins that are released from the production of bottled water. In addition, possible solutions such as identifying alternatives or innovating new ones that produce with a more environmentally conscious system. These innovations should be infused throughout the global economy. It seems as though small towns are getting bigger and big cities are becoming more congested causing expansion. By means of communities growing and new ones developing, we are destroying the natural and agricultural ecosystems to make room for our habitats and entertainment. AtKisson says we must protect these ecosystems: “Farmlands and food production should be protected from displacement by urban