Because of this interesting time, I thought it might be worthwhile to interrupt our Home Page to talk briefly about the pandemic and our mission of helping to achieve sustainable development in Arizona. While the pandemic may have nothing much to do with the impacts of “climate chaos,” as we’re now calling it, it has much to do with the lack of a sustainable global and local economy. It also has much to do with a lack of leadership at the federal and state levels.
We’ve learned that the COVID-19 virus was hopping around the USA in January 2020, while our leaders were ignoring the warnings from the World Health Organization and our own medical experts. It’s unlikely that if we had paid attention, we could have prevented the wide-spread contagion. However, it is very likely it would have been more limited, less deadly and the economic impacts could have been much less severe. But the American people and the people of Arizona chose to elect two executives woefully ill-equipped to hold the offices of president and governor. This is not a political statement. It’s an observation based on experience.
The pandemic is also demonstrating in very personal ways why building a sustainable economy is so critical. A majority of the workforce in this state and the country have no financial resources to sustain themselves if there is any disruption in employment. Every working person should be paid a wage that enables them to have reliable shelter, healthy food, access to good health care, transportation (as needed), and the ability to save for the future. Most working Americans do not have these basic guarantees. There are other things working people should have, such as paid sick leave and safe work environments. In much of our industries that is not the case.
This pandemic has demonstrated to the world that the USA is far behind other developed nations in the design of its economy. We are unsustainable. There is much we must learn from this experience and much that we must demand be changed as a result. We can expect other similar disruptions to normal life. Climate chaos disruptions will make this pandemic seem insignificant. We must be prepared with a strong, equitable, sustainable economic structure that supports our communities.
Meanwhile, Nicholas Kristof wrote an op-ed in the New York Times that listed some organizations that are filling in where our state and federal systems have failed. If you are among the lucky who don’t really need the skimpy $1200 check from the feds, here’s some organizations that can put those funds to excellent use. I’ve added a couple of local ones, too. John Neville, acting president
- Catalyst Kitchens
- St. Mary’s Food Bank
- Center for American Indian Health
- International Rescue Committee
- Save the Children
- Arizona Undocumented Workers Relief
Note: Sustainable Arizona is on hiatus. We are currently seeking new leadership for the organization. Contact us for more information or with your interest in the process.
Arizona is home to a flourishing, innovative, sustainable economy that supports prosperous, diverse, well-educated communities within a spectacular and cherished healthy environment.
Sustainable Arizona® is the process by which communities, businesses, civic and social groups, educational and environmental organizations collaborate to create self-reliant local economies that support thriving, diverse communities across the West.
Sustainable Arizona® engages leaders in economic development, education and community enhancement to pursue sustainable development.
We accomplish this mission through:
- the ongoing support of teachers and schools that implement education for sustainability practices and natural systems learning in the classroom
- the education of the public and elected officials on the necessity and benefits of taking effective action to combat climate change and develop local resilient communities
- the collaboration with business, civic and governmental organizations that are working towards sustainability goals
- the networking, development and promotion of green businesses and practices
- the acquisition and delivery of information on new resources, systems, technologies and methods for achieving sustainability
- the promulgation of the Sustainable Arizona Leadership model that fosters collaborations towards the creation of thriving local economies and communities