David Orr, professor and
chair of the environmental studies program at Oberlin College, and
Stuart Hart, Samuel C. Johnson
professor of Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University,
presented lectures Oct. 8 at Elon University's fourth annual environmental
to the Future: Tomorrow by Design."
lecture focused on politics and a concept of sustainable
ecological design that could help create a more environmentally-friendly
world. He reminded audience members that America is the most wasteful
country on earth. "This is not an issue that is between left
and right," Orr said. "I think conservative and liberal
are flip sides of the same coin. This is about what kind of world
we want to leave behind. This is a time that is dangerous, but also
of incredible opportunity."
the work of environmentalists around the country, and asked Elon
students and administrators to take heed their message and ask themselves
if it is possible to create a campus that is its own model for ecological
design. "There is another revolution going on," Orr said.
"It's about ecological design, which is how to make things
that fit into a long-term context and cultural context. We are ready
to make our human presence in the world in a dramatically different
a teacher in the engineering school and North Carolina A&T, was
tuned to the message. "I've heard David Orr speak before, and
I knew the good stuff he would say," Powell said. "He
really helped bring real value to understanding the business of
Hart delivered a talk titled "Creating Sustainable Value."
Hart said we should tie the idea of sustainability in with the capitalist
system's business agenda in a way that makes sense.
is an intuitive idea," Hart said. "There is no one-size-fits-all
solution. That's how capitalism can be used as a tool to give us
a totally sustainable world. Almost all of these things have to
do with making continuous incremental improvements to the current
productions system that the company operates. We can design environmental
quality in processes we use and thereby dramatically reduce the
an Alamance County resident and chairperson for the group
GASP for Clean Air, said she attended the conference to learn
about capitalism and sustainability. "People who are pro-capital
think it's impossible to bring them together (capitalism and sustainability),"
Hamblin said. "We're growing rapidly (in Alamance County),
but we need to grow wisely. If we can attract businesses that practice
sustainable work, we'll be ahead of the game."
the sustainability coordinator at UNC-Chapel Hill, was in attendance
at the forum during the morning and afternoon presentations. "I
have great respect for both Dr. Orr and Dr. Hart," Shea said.
"They are both able to take abstract global events and empower
people in hopes for a more sustainable future.
message is that we need to go beyond small-increment improvements."
Webster (R-N.C. Dist. 24) attended several of the day's events,
including the morning speeches, where he was part of the program,
and an afternoon panel titled "Academia by Design."
is for resident awareness of a rational policy of progress and preservation
of our earth," he said. "I feel better about our chances
(after hearing Hart and Orr speak)." Webster said he is not
as concerned about his generation as he is for the next generation.
mistakes we make will only affect me for 10 to 20 more years,"
Webster said. "If we mess up, it's going to affect your generation
for 80 years. You should be more interested in what we're doing
than us old folks."
Center for Environmental Studies hosted the all-day event, which
also included an organic
meal, environmental films and documentaries, afternoon panel
sessions and an alternative-fuel