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Task 1

3 links related to Sustainability

The video starts with the basic definition of Sustainability from the UN, and expands to the tree pillars. By showing the graph of the human consumption and its evolution (from 1.5 planets to 2.5 if we do nothing, 1 if we start to change right now), the author tries to depicts what are the sustainability concerns and what we can do. As example, she used the sustainable vs non sustainable forests and renewable vs non renewable energy production. In their opinion, solutions can come from 4 differents horizons: policy and law, business startegy, technology and design, values and behavior change. In my opinion, policy, law and business strategy can only be a rebound effect of a societal change. Business will not change if there is no need for them, and the search of profit is often contradictory to sustainability concerns. In the same way, government and policy makers often think with a short time vision, and sustainable develpment is secondary for most of them. But if enough people share the same concern with the environment, they could impact laws.

In my opinion, the most important thing in this article is about indicators. They listed different initiatives to monitor sustainable development. Each of them have different indicators, between 6 and 100, explicit or implicit, and each initiative is working on a different time scale. This means it is extremely difficult to find good indicators to study sustainability. The system is too complex to be completely monitored (entire environment, animal, vegetal and human population, societal development, industries…). We can only try to establish small indicators monitoring a narrow aspect of sustainability and try to add as many indicators as possible to try to create the big picture.

This last paper was about the relationship between ICT and sustainability. Its conclusion was that ICT can help reduce human impact on the environment, but rebound effects are possible and cannot be easily identified in advance and thus could elad to an increase of human consumption. In my mind, although the rebound effects cannot be identified, it is the good way to go. It is much simpler to develop more energy efficient products and develop products helping us be more sustainable than changing human behavior. If changing one individual habit can be possible, changing an entire society way of living much more complex and time consuming. Or, In order to preserve the planet, the changement must be effective in a very short time. Thus, we should first use technology as a short-time effect enabler to reduce the human impact on the planet, while trying to change human behavior for a long-term impact.

Task 2