Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dr. William Davis' Sustainability Message This Monday Eve, Siempre Sustainable Network Meeting

Dr. William C. Davis—Director of the Renewable Energy Program, St. Philip’s College, San Antonio, TX, and brother of actor Ossie Davis--bought out folk in the community this week which our Siempre Sustainable Network might not have otherwise reached. And as long-time (English) teacher, Jolly Ellis, emphasized following the presentation--Dr. Davis reached out in a "compassionate, intelligent, and charming" manner.

I think the main messages from our interactions with the audience, and from Dr. Davis' knowledge and wisdom, ... and stories of an African-American family from the Okefenokee area--with significant indigenous blood and influences, and a diversity of religious, cultural, and scientific impacts on their lives, as well as direct impacts of wars on their well-being--were:

· we need to be persistent in our quest for knowledge (how to conserve; seeking appropriate technological systems/energy sources and use; how to make significantly positive socio-economic/political change; ...), but humble (in our actions/development of Nature)--with the recognition that we will never significantly penetrate true knowledge of Nature and the Cosmos/Universe;

· positive change toward more sustainable communities is very complex and messy to accomplish, with socio-economic/political (ecological) implications and nuances;

· conservation should be of top priority, but we must also rapidly make the transition to various renewable energy sources and storage/transformation systems (eg. hydrogen/fuel cells);

· if we want to really realize sustainable communities, we need to target women in the developing nations of the world with education and "ownership" of resources (from the audience);

· for high input systems--nuclear (fission) energy must be considered;

· we've got to wean ourselves from our high input, large ecological footprint lifestyles and quit dirtying our nest with long-lasting radioisotopes/low and high level nuclear waste, and pollution/environmental degradation from dirty/"clean" coal, etc. (from the audience);

· human population management to sustainable levels (1 to 2 billion???) is necessary for a sustainable world;

· war leaves lasting psychological and sociological wounds that sometimes never completely heal, particularly for soldiers involved in combat.

[Dr. Davis did have some wonderfully wise and profound one-liners that I wish I would have captured in writing and remembered, but didn't. ... Sorry.]

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