What’s the Sustainability Puzzle you ask? It’s the problem of figuring out how we as a civilization get from where we are now to where we need to be in order to achieve a sustainable world. But, how do we even know what that looks like? Is that vision simply an extension of the current paradigm?

Robert HustedWe are presented with a conundrum in achieving sustainability. Our current system is inadequate in providing for the world’s population — poverty should suffice as adequate evidence. However, our only “solution” to poverty is to create new jobs so people can generate incomes to provide for their families. The problem is we are already over-productive and need to decrease our consumption by at least 70%. By adding “jobs” we are essentially growing the consumption needed to sustain them.

Recognizing this fundamental conflict, this Blog is my attempt to consider and suggest the pieces that comprise the sustainability puzzle. Born out of my first attempt, my Blog Missing the Bigger Picture began with little more focus than as a means to improve my writing. But, with time the theme of sustainable solutions emerged out of my efforts. Am I an expert in sustainability? No! The truth is that no one is and until we achieve a sustainable civilization, anyone raising the issue is speaking somewhat theoretically. And, my qualifications? I’m a natural problem solver who has lived around the world. And, where my interest and experience fall short, the obsessive thinking of an autistic mind bring an unusual ability to contemplate large-scale problems, synthesize diverse information and create harmonious solutions.

Perhaps the most important reason for adding my “two cents” to this dialogue can be found in the nature of sustainability. In my entry Understanding the Sustainability Puzzle, I describe the solution as being “squished” – an overlap of what we now consider to be unrelated fields. Since modern expertise tends toward tunnel vision and the solution will require an integrated approach, my hope is to provoke others to “think out of the box” and to envision the possibilities our challenge presents. Yes, this effort is a diamond in the rough – okay, very rough :-).

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