Sustainability is the Answer - Now What Was the Question?
2 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2012
Date Written: October 29, 2012
This short essay for the Environmental Law Collaborative explores law's role in framing discussions of sustainability. It suggests that we need to think of sustainability not as a set of practices but as set of organizing principles by which to restructure the core, yet largely invisible functions of production and transportation that precede the consumption on which so much current sustainability rhetoric focuses. To change these less visible aspects of society, we need to mobilize the power of the law as a framing institution. We can, if we choose, arrange our infrastructure and define our markets to make sustainable outcomes their unavoidable and inevitable result. It means that by posing our questions differently we might begin the process of uncovering hidden possibilities, thereby paving the way for a new understanding of the sustainability challenge, and opening space for new responses.
Keywords: sustainability, systems, climate change, law, framing
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