Neo Futurist Manifesto: Sustainability and Environmentalism

Today in our Constellation study group we looked at the topic sustainability and environmentalism in  Neo futurism and how has it progressed through out the years. Sustainability and Environmentalism are different to each other and in the blog by Paul Kingsnorth, “Confession of a recovering environment” he reveals the differences of both.

Environmentalism consists of a social movement regarding environment conservation and preservation that strives to persuade or induce the political acceptance process by lobbying, activism as well as education for protecting natural resources and eco-systems. It aims to control pollution and protect biodiversity by focusing on balancing the various natural systems by becoming more earth friendly.

Sustainability, in contrast to the environmentalism, represents the idea that human society should operate by utilizing industrial and biological processes that can be sustained indefinitely. This implies that those processes are cyclically rather than linearly oriented. As a basic concept, sustainability focuses on creating a better world and not compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs by embracing three core aspects: environment, economy and social equity.

In the lecture we looked across a time line and started looking at the first time when people started realising about what people are doing to the world.

1798 – Thomas Robert Malthus published an essay on “Principle of Population” which he argued that increases in population would eventually diminish the ability of the world to feed itself and based this conclusion on the thesis that populations expand in such a way as to overtake the development of sufficient land for crops.

1931 – “Grey Owl”  He  wrote numerous articles, books, films and lectures on his views of conservation that reached audiences beyond the borders of Canada, challenging people to re-evaluate their relationship with nature. His conservation views largely focused on humans negative impact on nature through their commodification of nature’s resources for profits, and a need for humans to develop a respect for the natural world.

1956 – We had the Hubbert Peak theory that stated that for any given geographical area, from an individual oil-producing region to the planet as a whole, the rate of petroleum production tends to follow a bell shape curve. It is one of the primary theories on peak oil and the first theories.

1962 – Rachel Carson wrote a book called “Silent Spring”, Carson turned her attention to conservation especially environmental problems that she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. The book was published in 1962 which brought environmental concerns to the American public. Silent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, but it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, led to a nationwide ban on DDT for agricultural uses, and inspired an environmental movement that led to the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency.

1974 – In this year the world came to recognise the O-Zone depletion. Scientist discovered that the O-Zone layer was thinning because of industrial gasses in our atmosphere.

1984 – Bhopal Disaster was a gas leak incident in India, considered the world’s worst industrial disaster.

1986 –  Chernobyl. On the 26 April 1986, one of four nuclear reactors at the Chernobyl power station exploded. The Chernobyl disaster was a unique event and the only accident in the history of commercial nuclear power where radiation related fatalities occurred.

1997 – Kyote Protocol was launched, It is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets.

All the disasters and key individuals protest to create a more environmental and sustainable future for their children and ours, but in some places like Canada the idea of wealth has took over the countries beautiful environment.

In 1993 Canada had 750 Mt of oil getting extracted but through the years some occurrence happened which caused a huge increase in extracted oil in Canada. The mount of oil getting extracted in 2011 was 23,590 Mt (Mega tones). The government of Canada decided to start cutting down environment reserves down to create a more sustainable future for the country. By cutting down the environment they could extract Tar Sands which is a combination of clay, sand, water, and bitumen, a heavy black viscous oil. Tar Sands can be mined and processed to extract the oil-rich bitumen, which is then refined into oil.

This led to nature and it’s wildlife to be cut down to make way for big machinery and industrial gasses.


This image shows the mass corruption of the beautiful forests of Canada due to Tar sand mining. Some scientist hope this will be the end of destructions of environment like Hallmarks, sustainability city he has come up with a list of 7 things that every city/country should realise when creating a greener and healthier world for the people and the nature we share with.

The seven points hallmarks gives us to create a sustainability city are:

  1. Energy
  2. Buildings safer, cheap and comfortable
  3. Streets fit for people
  4. Rethink Waste
  5. Planning for shortage of water
  6. Moderating the heat island
  7. Green spaces work for people and wildlife

All these things need to be realised and carefully analysed to create a sustainable city.


By next week we need to send a picture to our study group lecturer that shows one of Thomas fisher’s identifications. Thomas Fisher is a designer and also a publisher of a book he wrote called Architecture design and  Ethics and it is quite similar to hallmarks sustainability because he also gives us the readers some ideas of the things we need to recognise when creating a new sustainable and environment friendly city or design.

I’ve decided to find a picture to answer “Instead of throwing it away, reuse or recycle” because in our world today we have a mass population and that means more waste. By recycle or reuse we can reduce the impact of waste.

These are washing machine drums that have been converted into lamp shades. This shows how designers can help other to create sustainable future by reusing old machinery and use them to create something unique. My personal opinion is that we designers should start researching and use recycled items to create new possibilities because it will help reduce the amount of waste and create a more green earth. Instead of cutting don trees and mining for metals to use for our work, why just use what has been used.


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