Piloting spaceship earth to a sustainable future

The Economic Security Education Project exposes participants to leading edge thinking about the sustainable economy. Is this the course for you?

by Alice Martinez
othing polarizes opinion as fast as the environment. One side sees environmentalists as obstructionists, more interested in the well-being of snail darters and spotted owls than families trying to stay afloat. The other side sees business as pure greed, willing to plow under the last square inch of rainforest if it turns a profit. Flacks on both sides would have you think there are no alternatives, that we can't have economic well-being and a healthy environment.
There are alternatives. We can and must build our economy and direct our labors towards activities that provide us with food, shelter and security without destroying our life support system.
This is the message delivered by Jim Bell, local ecologist and self-described "ecological designer." Since 1977, Bell has dedicated himself to studying ways of building a sustainable society, specializing in the areas of energy, water, agriculture and forest products. According to Bell, "We've acquired the necessary technology and information to implement a course of action that reduces the risks to ourselves and our planet while maximizing our opportunities to survive without killing Planet Earth in the process."
Founder of the nonprofit Ecological Life Systems Institute, Jim Bell has mapped out a blueprint for creating a world offering growth, affluence and most importantly, sustainability of the planet's resources. This February will see the kickoff of his Economic Security Education Project. The project will offer participants the chance to learn, explore, discuss and develop ideas that are vital to changing the destructive actions that are ruining Spaceship Earth while maintaining economic prosperity.
One important objective of this course is to develop an environmental constituency that will find, develop and elect environmentally effective political leaders in the San Diego/Tijuana region. Elected officials with this kind of training are needed to implement strategies that will allow us to live ecologically and economically sustainable lives.
The first Economic Security Education Project workshop will be held over a four-week period, with sessions on February 21 and 28, and March 7 and 14. The cost of the workshop is $50 ($25 for ELSI members). To register for the course, mail a check made out to Ecological Life Systems Institute to: ELSI, 2923 East Spruce Street, San Diego, California 92104. For more information or for the location and dates of upcoming courses, please call 281-1447.

Alice Martinez is a long-time San Diego resident, environmental reporter, computer networking specialist, and San Diego Earth Day volunteer.