Sustainable is an Attitude
8 9 2022
Sustainable is an Attitude

An analysis of human lifestyle and priorities

As humans, we have always attempted to gain control, to find the limits that nature imposes on us and then break them. This is how Gianfranco Bologna, scientific director of WWF Italy, begins a stimulating discussion on preserving the natural ecosystem. We are appropriately seated in the Aula Magna of the University of Mantua when Bologna and his partner in activism and writing Barbara Gallavotti present an informative and engaging dialogue exploring sustainability, technology, and human attitude.

Gallavotti and Bologna agree on how the economy is responsible for having instilled in us a need for material abundance instead of spiritual and physical wellbeing. Sustainability, Bologna states, is not a theory we can put into practice with the lifestyle we are currently living: we need to change our priorities. A recurring theme of their conversation is the excessive use and exploitation of resources. They explore this theme through the economic aspects that prevent us from being able to switch to a truly sustainable lifestyle, as well as the lack of a real solution. Gallavotti comments on how even sustainable solutions present their own set of challenges as we may just be changing the resources we mine the earth for.

It is our lifestyle that must change. They explore themes of global collaboration and inequality. They state how there must be global collaboration for there to truly be a global change in sustainability. However, Gallavotti wants to draw the audience’s attention to other aspects as well. Should third-world nations like the Dominican Republic of the Congo, which produces 0.03 tons of GHG emissions (compared to the US with 14 tons) prioritise the pursuit of sustainability? The two experts leave no stone unturned as they continue to explore inspiring themes that push the audience to reflect. They end with a conversation on how ‘deniers’ can be dealt with, and as Bologna wittily tells us; the law of gravity was not put to the vote.