Tonight, the focus of an hour-long sustainable agriculture chat on Twitter will be defining sustainability. The chat will begin at 8pm/5PT. All are welcome to join the chat, just please announce yourself at the beginning by telling everyone your name and affiliations, and use the #sustagchat tag on your tweets in order to create a searchable dialog. I am moderating tonight’s chat, and for the sake of transparency, no one had paid for me to perform this service. I come by my own desire to discuss these issues. You are welcome to send questions to the moderator, @sustagchat. But here are some questions to get you thinking about the topic:
1. Many people talk about sustainability, but it is a word with many definitions. What is your definition of sustainability? How do you then define sustainability in the context of agriculture systems? What key elements must be in place in order for a system to be sustainable in your opinion?
2. Where are there examples of systems you would consider sustainable? Are the people and places successfully pursuing your definition of sustainability?
3. What is currently standing in the way of a more sustainable agriculture system? How do we go about changing this? Is the answer at the grassroots level, or at the governmental level, or both?
A few things got me thinking about this topic. One of course was the wide differences in comments on my last post. But another bit of food for thought was this piece by Natasha Chart, which discusses how our current system of agriculture will never be sustainable because of its dependence on fossil fuels. But she doesn’t propose a resurrection of the Luddite movement. It’s great reading if you have a chance to take a look before tonight’s chat.
I’m looking forward to a lively discussion. See everyone on Twitter at 8/5PT. I will be leading the chat from @sustagchat, so follow me if you haven’t yet!