As climate change worsens, we must move beyond technological fixes that accelerate production and promote consumption. Indigenous practices and tools, like the traditional halibut fishing hook of the Pacific Northwest, demonstrate the importance of approaching design with a deep knowledge of and respect for the environment.
MANCHESTER – What if we could build wooden houses without felling a tree? What if we could fish in such a way that left egg-producing females in the sea? And what if we could fill our forests with a wide array of edible plants, making commercially farmed forests look comparatively barren? Though they may seem impossible, these practices have existed for centuries, suggesting that the future we need is to be found in our past.
Climate change has become a time bomb, and the need to develop new ways of living that are far gentler on the planet has never been greater. But we stubbornly adhere to the same old mantra of innovation, technology, and unrestrained growth – offering lip service to sustainability while encouraging nature-destroying activities that are rapidly making the planet unlivable.
Even so-called “green” technologies accelerate production and promote consumption. Consider electric vehicles, bicycles, and scooters: manufacturing these goods requires ever more energy and resources and inevitably results in more emissions and waste.