From the Director

Examining Sustainability & Politics: A Collection of Blog Entries by Steven Cohen

In America’s classrooms and an increasing number of its corporate boardrooms, “sustainability” is the mantra of the moment. The sustainability perspective is that without a healthy and productive ecosystem, wealth is impossible; environmental protection is a prerequisite to wealth. If we do not develop an economic system less dependent on the one-time use of natural resources, then it is inevitable that energy, water, food and all sorts of critical raw materials will become more and more expensive. The development of a sustainable, renewable resource-based economy has become a necessity. Events such as the BP oil spill and the Fukushima nuclear disaster have proven that unsustainable practices not only damage the environment, but can also claim lives and livelihoods.

The following body of work is a collection of essays that focuses on sustainability, namely in politics, education, and management. Every week I examine contemporary issues, and this compilation is a way to collect my analysis on various issues, creating an easy tool for anyone wishing to explore sustainability issues. I also write a fair amount on politics and government and often integrate my discussion of sustainability with a discussion of the current political climate and of the public policy process, so those posts are also included in the collection.

Some important themes that have been in consistent throughout my essays since I started posting them in 2009 include our dependence on non-renewable fuel resources, the role of local government versus federal government in promoting sustainablity policy, the economics of sustainability, the growing field of sustainability management, and the increase in higher education opportunities in the field of sustainability.