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My sustainable futures research revealed some interesting statistics. The food and agriculture industry are equal contributors for global warming and climate change when pitched against the oil and steel companies (the ratio is 57% – 43%). What is more alarming is that cows are responsible for almost 15% to 18% of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions in the world! One could dismiss this for a vegan propaganda. But UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report lists it as an alarming wake up call for the meat lovers of the world. Before arriving on critical questions in this research, the fields of study ought to be defined.
Considering the project is a critique on fuel-farming, Ethics is an important field of the study on the matter. Applied Ethics, animal rights and bio ethics. Raging debate on bio ethics is the current debate on labeling ‘genetically modified food’. The primary field of study for the project is Bio technology, Bio-chemistry, cattle physiology and Chemical EngineeringAnthropology, gene culture co-evolution, medical anthropology and population genetics help understand the patents on seeds by Monsanto which has driven farmers in India and Brazil to commit suicide. The supply-demand model of economics help understand agricultural economics and ecological economics. The project also deals with Evolutionary Psychology in acceptance of Etymophagy. Evolutionary psychologists argue that much of human behavior is the output of psychological adaptations that evolved to solve recurrent problems in human ancestral environments. An interesting project in Sustainable Civics is Pam Warhurst – the story of how she and a growing team of volunteers came together to turn plots of unused land in TodModern into communal vegetable gardens, and to change the narrative of food in their community. Environmental Sociology gives the project an understanding of human interventions in environmentSustain-ability has become about saving humanity rather than the planet. Without sustainability we’re doomed and without us, the environmental problems will self correct.

#rmt3

 

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While the whole world goes gaga over open source technology and design democracy, a flip side to the concept is presented in the book Design Futuring – Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice by Tony Fry.

“Problem here is not simply that more people are ‘designing’ but that design becomes increasingly trivialized and reduced to appearance and ‘style’. So while design actually embraces the totality of what something is and does it gets seen to be purely appearance and performance.”

While I do not fully conform to the idea, in parts it’s true. With power comes responsibility. And in dispensing power to all, we’ve undervalued the ‘act’ of designing.

Something to chew on this weekend.