Play Nice: Why piss off Mother Nature if we don’t have to?

“Sustainability in communities is not only about resources, it is also about harmony.”

This closing line in a description of a new design competition sums up my belief of why we try so hard to do the right thing by making our communities more sustainable.  The competition was recently announced to the blogosphere, New York City’s most infamous landfill turned parkland, Freshkills Park, will be the host site for a new public art/renewable energy project.

Get the details of this project here.

The project background tells a story of how the public is pushing back against renewable energy projects for aesthetic and other perceived consequences. This projects aims to bring balance between beauty and utility of renewable energy generation.

Working as a professional exclusively in the realm of sustainability, often I am challenged by my less sustainable peers to shed light on the grey areas of sustainability. Skeptics will ask, “How can you support wind turbines if they kill birds? Why should I buy a small electric car if the battery manufacturing has a larger impact than an entire hummer?”

Unfortunately, there is not a simple feel-good answer. We need to look at the bigger picture, the lifecycle of our planet. I agree with the skeptics when they claim that Mother Nature has her own effects on climate change-independent of man’s actions. And that she may take matters into her own hands to manage population growth with extreme weather events.

Contrary to these naysayers, I also believe the best we have the power to ‘play nice.’ Why piss off Mother Nature if we don’t have to? The most sustainable projects will bring harmony to both resource use and human interactions.

© 2011 Sustainable Investment Group (SIG). All rights reserved.