We are opening up our year by acknowledging what must come before we can reasonably expect people to care about the environment: social sustainability. At its core, social sustainability looks at the societal structures in place that allow people to live healthy, happy lives: equity, culture, job opportunities, safety, wages, and all the other things we believe to be indicators of a “good” community. We also touch today on economic sustainability and go through a handful of case-study thought exercises: why do people buy fast food? what conditions may support crime? how are we organizing our communities? Caring about climate change is a privilege, and until we create more just, stable societies, we can’t expect everyone to be enthusiastically on board with supporting eco-conscious activities.
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