A Response to Brennan Jacoby's Lecture on Ecology and Sustainability

Categories: Sustainability

Sustainability is something more people should be aware of because of the growing impacts on not only ecology, but also society and the economy. Throughout the lecture, various points were raised that interested me in the sense of "what am I currently doing wrong and how can I fix it?" Although I have been at other lectures about the ecology or of the effect on our carbon footprint, this one raised different points apart from the cliché "turn off your water while you brush your teeth or shampoo".

In Brennan Jacoby's engaging lecture?, three main points that grabbed my attention were Braungart and McDonough's ideas and the first and third points of "contributing positively".

When one thinks of something being "sustainable", he or she thinks of it being efficient and having the potential to be long lasting. "Sustainability could be defined as an ability or capacity of something to be maintained or to sustain itself.

It's about taking what we need to live now, without jeopardising the potential for people in the future to meet their needs. If an activity is said to be sustainable, it should be able to continue forever"2. goes in hand with eco-efficiency as well, which means "using less natural sources and or/ doing less harm to nature". In the lecture, when Jacoby introduced sustainability, instead of giving a definition on the PowerPoint, he showed pictures. These included a car made out of grass and a t-shirt made out of leaves.

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People are fixated on making sure they are okay, but they should also be focused on making sure that everything around them is fine as well. As mankind has evolved, people have progressively gotten more and more selfish, and it impacts the world negatively.

The first point that caught my attention was Braungart and McDonough's quote about human industries and efficiency. The quote states as follows, "The key is not to make human industries and systems smaller, as efficiency advocates propound, but to design them to get bigger and better in a way that replenishes, restores, and nourishes the rest of the world”. This quote is extremely powerful because it discredits the advocates of efficiency while supporting it. Efficiency is a key word when it comes to eco-efficiency or any topic of being green. What Braungart and McDonough are stating is that humankind does not have to stop growing technologically because of the impacts it has on ecology. There has to be a balance between expanding industries and the negative and positive effects to the world. These industries affect society, ecology and economy, so if they diminish then mankind would suffer. Instead, humans should strive to make these industries bigger with a more positive impact on all aspects. I liked this topic because mankind has progressed so much that it would be counterproductive to make industries smaller and the quote puts it in an interesting perspective.

Contributing positively to all aspects of the world is something worth striving for. The first out of the four points of this section is "be your own gadfly". When first reading this, I thought it was an interesting title because I had never come across it in anything other than literature. The questions posed in this section were, “how do I currently relate to the earth, to money, to others? What is the quality of the relationship between my chosen field of work, money, and others? What might it take to start a relationship?" All these are relatively general. Being a gadfly means that one has to criticize themselves in order to evolve as a person and mature. In the case of being sustainable, one must see the things he or she is doing wrong and fix them. This can be realizing that letting the water run for an 30 extra seconds while brushing his or her teeth can really impact the world negatively. By turning it off during the half a minute, it can make a difference because if one person can do it, then so can others, and it impacts on a greater scale. Being one's own gadfly means that one has to criticize every part of one's life, just like the questions pose.

Be yourself only different. This one sector of “contributing positively" can slightly confuse anyone who does not read into it deeply. What it states is that one can still do all the normal things he or she does on a day to day basis, but adjusting small things that can make big impacts. Like stated before, cutting off the water running from the sink while brushing teeth is not a hard task. It is not stating to quit certain aspects of one life, it is just stating to adjust slightly in order to help other aspects of life as well. By shutting off the water for a certain period of time everyday in various chores, one can also save money because the water bill will also be less expensive, and while doing this, one is also helping the environment. One does not have to quit showering or brushing his or her teeth in order to help save the world, those are the type of things extremists do. But because man has evolved to more than that, by adjusting slightly, collectively everybody can make a great impact.

Because many live without an idea of the possible consequences, it is important to share the acquired information through different methods, one of them being Brennan Jacoby's lecture. The lecture informed students of what they can do to make the world a better place, not only through the environment but also for the economy and society as a whole. Those three points are vital when summarizing the lecture, because it goes over other people's thoughts, how to criticize oneself, and how to be "yourself" but "different",

Works Cited

  1. Jacoby, Brennan. “Beyond Green: Rethinking Sustainability.” PowerPoint. London. September 25, 2015.
  2. "What is sustainability?" LandLearn NSW. http://www.landlearnnsw.org.au/sustainability/what-is-sustainability. (October 23, 2015).

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A Response to Brennan Jacoby's Lecture on Ecology and Sustainability. (2021, Oct 31). Retrieved from http://envrexperts.com/free-essays/essay-about-response-brennan-jacobys-lecture-ecology-and-sustainability

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