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Thursday, May 7, 2009

May is Sustainability Month

Here is news from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA):

EPA Celebrates May as Sustainability Month
Contact: Suzanne Ackerman, 202-564-4355 / 7819 / ackerman.suzanne@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. -- May 6, 2009) EPA scientists will celebrate Sustainability Month, part of the Year of Science 2009, by connecting with the public through blogs, podcasts and demonstrations of the importance of sustainability in our communities. The Year of Science 2009 was created by the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) to engage the public in science by showing why science matters in their communities and everyday lives.

Sustainability is defined internationally as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. For the U.S. EPA, this includes conserving natural resources by using alternative renewable energy sources, recycling used materials into new products, and finding alternative to toxics used in manufacturing or products that could pollute the environment.

“Sustainability Month is a great opportunity for EPA scientists to share their knowledge and commitment on how to better conserve and reuse valuable natural resources with the public, and to hear from citizens their ideas for a sustainable future,” said Lek Kadeli, acting assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “We’re going to keep the momentum from Earth Day going with lots of activities, particularly ones that will engage children and encourage them to study science.”

May activities:
Science of sustainability photo project on Flickr: http://www.epa.gov/yearofscience/sustain_photo.htm
EPA scientists including Dr. Alan Hecht will blog on sustainability on Greenversations under Science Wednesday: http://blog.epa.gov/blog/category/sciencewednesday/ and http://www.yearofscience2009.org/themes_sustainability/celebrate/
On May 8, EPA staff will give hands on science demonstrations for Math and Science Day at the Maryland Six Flags Amusement Park. Staff will also microblog at the event: http://twitter.com/greenversations
Dr. Diane Bauer of EPA will be featured on “Meet the Scientist” on COPUS Year of Science Web site: http://www.yearofscience2009.org/themes_sustainability/meet-scientists
On May 18, EPA will host a science of biofuels session at the American Institute of Biological Sciences
EPA podcasts on science issues: http://es.epa.gov/ncer/multimedia.html
On May 19, research staff will microblog from the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair http://twitter.com/greenversations

More information on the EPA Year of Science: http://www.epa.gov/yearofscience More information on COPUS and The Year of Science 2009: http://www.yearofscience2009.org

My blog comments follow: The EPA is doing good work, and City of Rogers City staff members are working hard too, using this international definition of sustainability to make our community sustainable for the future. What responsible person would not try to make their world and their achivements long-lasting, even permanent, if possible? I am passionate about sustainability and will do everything in my power to make sure that Rogers City behaves responsibly toward future generations.

However, when you are having trouble putting food on your table, then a factor of needs kicks in.
People who have lost their jobs and homes do not have the luxury of worrying about the next decade or century. Unfortunately, there are an increasing number of people facing these difficulties in our community, in Michigan, in America, and around the world. Our City budget is so tight we do have funds to make progress in sustainability.

New science, technology deployment, and ethical idea implementation are important. Forward progress is good, but sometimes you have to stop and assess where you are in order to better understand where you should be going. That is part of sustainability too.

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