Cultural Sustainability Ambassadors
Vancouver has one of the fastest growing immigrant populations in Canada. Each cultural population responds to municipally-led sustainability challenges or requirements differently. In some ways, different immigrant populations have more sustainable living knowledge and experience than the mainstream Vancouver culture, in some ways they have less.
The City needs to engage different cultural communities uniquely, determining which approaches work best for which cultures to ensure the uptake of sustainability initiatives -which approaches will be meaningful to which communities.
Examples of this include identify existing social leaders in cultural communities (ethnic, income, age, ability, gender, etc.) and support them in order to develop cultural community dialogue with the City that evolves to sustainability actions in their communities. Devote multiple municipal staff, each with insights and relationship with a particular cultural population, to engage with that population on sustainability issues relevant to that culture; working with importers and other jurisdictions to ensure that culturally-specific products (eg: food) are produced, transported, packaged and consumed sustainably; focusing on English as a Second Language and settlement services programs, which are often immigrants' first exposure to Vancouver, to start the sustainable lifestyle uptake early on.
Specific, creative engagement with cultural communities can be a two-way educational dialogue that will benefit newcomers, the municipal government and Vancouver as they all move into a sustainable future together!
This idea is included in draft Greenest City Action Plan, as well as more generally as a Greenest City Ambassadors program.
NOTE: The idea raised at the Greenest City Social Media Event "use a multicultural approach to sustainability issues in the city" has been merged with this one.
The economy can’t grow forever
Commentary: The whole planet must live within its means
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Those of us who believe that the economy should serve us instead of the other way around are conflicted.
We know that the only way to end unemployment at home and poverty around the world is to make the economy grow faster. But we also know that nothing can grow forever, that the faster the global economy grows, the sooner we’ll run out of essential resources, including fossil fuels, water, arable land, healthy ecosystems and moderate climate.
Economists and politicians can’t admit it, but the laws of physics apply, no matter what the latest polls tell us. The Earth has finite resources that will someday limit our economic growth.
The Earth cannot forever support 7 billion people consuming as much as Americans consume. And yet we’ve staked our future — individually, nationally, and maybe even as a species — on that impossible dream.
Some people are in denial. They believe that the Earth’s resources are limitless and that a bean stalk can grow to the sky. Or perhaps they know deep in their heart that we are on the road to an environmental and economic catastrophe, one that they think they alone will survive through wits, gold, and guns.
Ken Lawson commented
I do not think so many Canadians now support a Melting Pot Society, Multiculturalism has proven to be a complete failure.
Resisting Nonsense commented
Important social issues cannot be solved by a population that is broken up by parallel societies as is the case in multiculturalism. If anything, the first thing on the path to sustainability should be the elimination of multiculturalism and creation of a homogeneous society that can see itself pursuing common dreams and ideas.