Happy Saint Peter and Paul Day everyone! Here in Riva the whole town is shut down for the holiday. None of the stores are open, but no matter—being the studious students that we are—we worked right through the day anyway. Bells from services in the church nearly adjacent to us could be heard throughout Villa Maderni to remind us of the distinctive day. Lecture waivered only momentarily when a thunderstorm came through and we all rushed to close our open windows.
Our attention was so focused because we really had an opportunity to dive into the evolution of sustainable development. We watched a documentary on Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” using her book as a starting point to evaluate how the environmental movement really began. Understanding her as a person, who late in life took on such a radical cause and came from outside of any political or academic institution made her achievements in raising awareness on the dangers of pesticide use that much more impressive. It was heartening to learn that her book inspired almost immediate legislation on pesticide use in forty U.S. states.
We then moved on to discuss economic development theories that provided some insight into the prevailing development/growth models of the 1960s, which reinforced the rapid push for industrialization. We also reviewed the concepts behind emerging New Growth Theory and Ayres-Warr analysis, which highlighted the importance of technological innovation and energy conversion efficiencies in economic growth. The discussion focused on the need to find ways to promote innovation and competitiveness that move society towards sustainable development. It was an action packed day!
Author: Candace Pearson, Undergraduate, English and Planning, UVA.