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ISSUE DELIBERATION MATERIALS:

Government & Politics

Issue guide - Sustaining Ourselves: How Can We Best Meet the Needs of Today and Tomorrow?

published: 2012

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The following is from the issue guide: Sustaining Ourselves: How Can We Best Meet the Needs of Today and Tomorrow?

Sustaining Ourselves: How Can We Best Meet the Needs of Today and Tomorrow?

...It seems clear that the America inhabited by our grandchildren will look different from the America of today. We need to address what aspects of our current lifestyle are important enough to keep and pass down, and what we could choose to do without. It is time to ask: How can we best meet our needs today without hampering our ability to meet those needs tomorrow?

This 12-page issue guide presents three possible options for deliberation:

Option One: Take Action to Repair and Protect Crucial Resources
Vital resources, such as clean water and agricultural land, are dwindling quickly, with ominous implications. Well-meaning individual efforts and neighborhood recycling programs are not enough to ward off looming catastrophe. We must take urgent measures, including government regulation and pressure on businesses to solve this problem.

Option Two: Focus the Power of Markets and Technological Innovation
While problems related to humanity's overuse of natural resources are very real, many dire predictions in the past have been rendered irrelvant by technological and social advances. As long as the right incentives are in place, our resource-overspending problems have every chance for solution by inventors, entrepreneurs, and the market.

Option Three: Transform Our Culture
We need to reconnect with values that were once prized by most Americans: frugality, altruism, social connections, and living within one's means. If we can do this, we'll be healthier, happier, and more prosperous--and the planet and our communities will be in better shape too.

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