Richard Knaub November 29, 2005

I recently had a discussion with a couple of Natural Step Process people about how to move American communities to towards sustainability. I like the Natural Step Process, coming out of the environmental realm as I do. But the Natural Step process was developed in a country with one of the strongest social justice systems in the world. So it assumes that the level of social justice necessary to meet the criteria of Our Common Futures definition of sustainable development is already in place. My contentions were first, since the US has a lot of social justice issues which Sweden doesnt, the Natural Step Process is largely ineffective in the US. This is because we cant meet the condition of equity that Our Common Future put on the definition of sustainable development. Second is that the US culture has been shaped by the idea of Manifest Destiny and because of this the culture cannot accept the idea of limits, the second condition Our Common Future put on the definition of sustainable development. Id like to hear what the rest of you think about this. Particularly from the Australian and Canadian members, since we share some similar cultural factors, yet both of your countries are well ahead of the US in sustainability.