Green, green libraries
Critical notes (05)
"We are a green and sustainable library," I was smilingly announced at the entrance. It happened recently, in a place whose name I do not care to remember.
"What makes you a sustainable library?" I wanted to know. "Well, we recycle our waste and save energy, and we educate our users so they do it at home," was the answer.
I went through the library, mentally pointing out the technological decisions they had made, the way they had invested their budget, the services they supported and those that were lacking, the socio-economic sectors they served (and those who they didn't, the information they provided and the one they stressed... No, it had nothing sustainable: it was another piece of the huge consumerist structure in which we live. That structure that is depleting all resources and crossing all the biophysical limits of the planet and that is facing an unprecedented socio-environmental crisis. It happens that few are aware of how close that crisis is, and how hollow the words green and sustainable are becoming.
In 2013, Robert Engelman started Worldwatch Institute's State of the World 2013 with a lapidary phrase: "We live today in an age of 'sustainababble', a cacophonous profusion of uses of the word 'sustainable' to mean anything from environmentally better to cool".
Given the circumstances, I think it's time to stop babbling and act responsibly.
Note belonging to the series Critical notes.
About the post
Text: Edgardo Civallero.
Picture: Soyfelizahora (link).