Most religions and creation myths portray humanity as having dominion over the earth. This can be interpreted as a license to plunder or as a commandment to act as stewards of the earth and its awesome web of interlocking systems.
Americans have over the last few generations become more aware of the need to conserve our earth's natural systems but while good intentions are admirable, it's not just the thought that counts. Intelligent planning is needed at all levels of our society to ensure that the good deeds of one state, city, county or department are not inadvertently undone by another.
A refreshingly simple and descriptive piece of jargon describes the process of fitting all the pieces together -- integrated resource planning. The challenge, possibly the greatest facing humanity, is to find a way for millions of us to spend our earthly years in a way that leaves our world relatively intact for those who follow us, and for the other creatues and life forms who share the biosphere.
The goal is sustainability -- the process by which we leave our corner of the world as hospitable as we found it.
Edens Lost & Found highlights national and global issues and solutions, the inspiration emanating directly from small neighborhoods in major American cities. The residents of Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle -- and other cities across the country -- will demonstrate that they have the wisdom to reverse long-standing engineering dogma to meet new sustainability criteria, challenges and opportunities.
Our television broadcasts, books, videos and Web sites will raise the issue of environmental justice and how changing demographics are affecting city, state, and local budgets. We hope to inspire and encourage others to work as a team to find solutions in their own communities. Rebirth is an exciting story, one we are eager to tell.
Without doubt, sustainability requires research, planning, engineering but most of all it requires a functioning community, one that effectively sustains all of its organic components, enabling those individuals now living and those whose time has not yet come to live healthful and satisfying lives.
Next: The Connected Community