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Maybe Starting Another Flame?

Hi All,
Is it me or does all of this "zero waste", "precautionary principle", and "sustainability" stuff just sound silly.  I favor P2 because I know it's practical and we know it's a goal, not an absolute.  Zero Waste just reeks of hugging bugs and bunnies, let's all read some poetry, and waste will go away.  I guess they don't count all of the pollution generated by the cars and planes they take to get to these conferences.  Or the energy used to air condition and light the meeting place.
We had a weathercaster here in Los Angeles who would go on and on about how his TV station truly loved Mother Earth. He was so hypocritical.  Let's see, four or five major networks all reporting the same exact news.  If his station loved Mother Earth so much, why didn't they tell everyone to turn to another station for news for an hour and shut down the transmitter?  That act would save about 50,000 watt-hours.  But no, they loved the earth but not that much.
And this is why the sustainability discussion is a joke, to me.  The role of business is to fill the need or demand for a product or service.  Much of this need or demand did not exist prior to its creation by business.  Since business must always grow or expand, the consumption of materials is not sustainable.  I'll believe in sustainability when wall street awards a company for building longer lasting products that result in fewer future sales.  I'll believe in sustainability when companies promote and people adopt the peak of the P2 hierarchy, avoid the use of materials.  Until then, sustainability is just more marketing jargon.
And then we get to the third buzz term of the double-naught generation, the precautionary principle.  It sounds so right in theory but is so unworkable in practice. It forces you to either stick your head in the sand and not ask questions so you can fool yourself into thinking that something is safe or it forces you to prove a negative.  I found it very amusing that the City of San Francisco adopted the precautionary principle and touted its virtues in a major study to find safer cleaning agents.  The report was very detailed and it was a very good piece of work except for one little problem, the alternative cleaning agents they selected for city use were safer but they also violated the precautionary principle.  Had they truly followed the principle, no environmentally safer cleaner would have been selected.
Oh well, I guess you can tell that I side with the folks who want to keep NPPR focused on P2 and to not buy in to the environmental flavor of the day.  It's also Friday afternoon on the left coast so I don't expect any flames from the east coast till Monday.  Hope everyone has/had a great weekend.
Mike Callahan
-----Original Message-----
From: owner-p2tech@great-lakes.net [mailto:owner-p2tech@great-lakes.net]On Behalf Of Gary Liss
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2005 12:27 PM
Subject: Speakers Update for GRRN Zero Waste Conf. 5/23-25, NYC

Apologies for Cross-Postings - Please Forward Widely!

The Second National
Zero Waste Action Conference
New York City - May 23-25, 2005
“Building Zero Waste Communities: Tools to Take Home”


Two great minds of the 21st Century are on the Zero Waste bandwagon …are you? Come hear and meet
with Peter Montague, Co-Director of the Environmental Research Foundation and Editor of RACHEL’s Environmental and Health News, on “Zero Waste and the Precautionary Principle,” and David Morris, Vice President of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Director of the New Rules Project, on “The Power and Importance of Changing Local Rules to Create a Zero Waste Society.”

You will not want to miss this two-and-a-half day gathering with some of the leading advocates and technical experts in the industry who will provide you with the tools and processes to choose, plan and implement Zero Waste in your community!

What is “Zero Waste in Action?”
Come learn about Resource Recovery Parks, Extended Producer Responsibility initiatives, Design for the Environment campaigns, and Job Creation programs.

Join your progressive peers working in New York, the U.S. and Canada to discuss challenges and different program approaches. Strategize your own Zero Waste plan for your region by building off other community’s ongoing planning processes.

What are the Tools to Take Home? We want to help you get your community moving toward Zero Waste, so some of the useful take-aways from this conference will include a framework for introducing Zero Waste to your community’s legislators and stakeholders, sample policies and legislation, resources and references for building infrastructure, community planning handbooks, promotional campaign artwork and other how-to’s.

Planning for Zero Waste? Bring a delegation from your community!
To start organizing your community around Zero Waste, we encourage you to bring a delegation with you. We suggest at least 2 or 3 of the following individuals: elected officials, top city management, solid waste program managers, business leaders, and members of community organizations.

Conference Agenda:
Monday, May 23rd
Registration and Continental Breakfast
Keynote Sessions:
Peter Montague,
Co-Director of the Environmental Research Foundation and Editor of RACHEL’s Environmental and Health News
“Zero Waste and the Precautionary Principle: An Idea Whose Time Has Come”

David Morris
, Vice President of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Director of the New Rules Project
“The Power and Importance of Changing Local Rules to Create a Zero Waste Society”

Panel and Interactive Sessions:
Producer Responsibility, Design for the Environment and Clean Production
Building Infrastructure: Resource Recovery Parks
Lunch provided A chance to network with your peers and discuss with experts the challenges you are experiencing in your specific community. Reception 5-9 p.m.:
Music by DJ Chrome, the Soundz of Justice and Recycled Funk (www.djobah.com).

Tuesday, May 24th

Continental Breakfast

Group Work Sessions with national experts focusing on how government and community organizers can work both separately and together toward Zero Waste:
Timothy Logan, Lead Organizer, NYC Zero Waste Campaign
Donna Barlow Casey, Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District
Gary Liss, Coordinator, Zero Waste International Alliance Barbara Warren, M.S., Consumer Policy Institute of Consumers' Union and Co-Author, “Reaching for Zero: The Citizens Plan for Zero Waste in NYC”
Chris Luboff, Seattle Director of Solid Waste Planning
Mary T'Kach, Director of Environmental Affairs, Aveda Corporation

Lunch provided Laurie Lewis, Waste Diversion Planning Coordinator, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Wendy Neu, Vice President of Governmental & Environmental Affairs, Hugo Neu Corporation
Eric Lombardi,
Executive Director of Eco-Cycle, Boulder, CO

Evening Tours 5-8 p.m.

Choose one of two options: Wine and snacks served after tours.

Wednesday, May 25th

Morning Tours 9 a.m.-noon
Choose one of two options: TO REGISTER or for more information, visit www.grrn.org.

GrassRoots Recycling Network (GRRN) is a North American network of recycling professionals and waste reduction activists pushing public policy and corporate practice beyond recycling.

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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