Thoughts from the Environmental Pillar Champions
The essential spirit of the Sustainable Kingston Plan is described by the American naturalist and preservationist John Muir: “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
This quote has particular relevance for the environmental pillar, as all human activities have an impact on the environment. Conversely, the relative health of the environment will determine and will contribute to the nature and scale of activities in the other pillar areas of this plan: economic, cultural and social. While all of the pillars have the same standing in Sustainable Kingston, the environment does have a first principle position in that without a life‐sustaining environment, the other three pillars cease to exist.
Earlier in this plan, we noted some of the major global environmental challenges: climate change, dwindling nonrenewable resources, shrinking natural habitats, diminishing biodiversity, ocean acidification; and increasing human population pressures. Clearly, all of these issues have economic, social and cultural elements.
By acknowledging the prominence of the environmental pillar, we do not mean that the other pillars are less important. To the contrary, this prominence reinforces the need for an integrated approach to all of the themes in this plan. The foundational challenges and origins of sustainability may be environmental, but it will take a holistic approach engaging all pillars to deal with these challenges.
The themes in the Environmental Pillar (Environmental Responsibility) are:
The Environmental Pillar Champions, advising on behalf of the Environmental Responsibility Pillar, are Ian Dubin and Harold Pickering. Throughout the development of Sustainable Kingston, Ian and Harold have provided updates to the Kingston Environmental Advisory Forum (KEAF).