Underlying Beliefs


photo by Martin Heigan, some rights reserved

My design philosophy is rooted in a number of underlying beliefs. Among them,

  1. that all forms of life and society are dependent upon — and moreover, active participants in — the Earth's ecosystems;
  2. that human activity is causing rapid and unpredictable change to the natural environment, and that this change ultimately comes at an unacceptably high price to humanity;
  3. that humanity is not inherently destructive, but rather creative and generous;
  4. that the world is complex, and therefore human intervention is often fraught with unforeseen effects and unintended consequences; and that we must temper our interventions with better foresight and more accurate models, but also with humility and precaution;
  5. that environmental problems, like social problems, are systemic in nature: they have their roots in the organization of human society;
  6. that the resolution of environmental and social problems are inextricably linked: that the conditions that support a more equitable, just, and emancipated social order are the same conditions that can create an ecologically sustainable society;
  7. that the only just and equitable way for social change to occur is from the bottom up, via collective action and participatory democracy; and
  8. that there is no one right way to live; and that, on the contrary, we all benefit from a great diversity of livelihoods and beliefs.

copyright © 2013 by carl s. sterner, unless otherwise noted. more...