The greatest challenge is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Envisioning a Sustainable Future

Dr. Lansky is a psychiatrist who attempts to deal with the underlying anxiety we are all experiencing with news of the degradation of the Planet we are being inundated with daily. 


Presented by Madeleine Lansky.

How do we deal with environmental degradation, climate change and global warming? Any system that is not sustainable will ultimately fail. This truth feels unbearable, and we often block it from our consciousness.

We are overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, sadness and anger. We are paralyzed about how to go about improving our environment. Many of our mental health symptoms are linked to our core fears about survival and destruction. We might experience them as emptiness, feeling separate from life, or that life is not worth living. It can feel challenging enough just to survive, let alone to do something about the environment.

We have lost our direct connection with our natural surroundings. In nature, the earth's finite resources are continuously recycled into different forms: molecules, minerals, water, air, soil, plants, and animals. "Sustainability" is inherent to the natural world. From the individual level to global, our main job right now is to rework all of our systems so that they recycle, rather than waste, finite resources.

By embracing sustainability both personally and environmentally, we can feel emotionally stronger, happier and healthier. Sustainability allows us to reconnect with our natural surroundings while holding on to humanity's many achievements in the past 150 years. Our task is to use the genius of the industrial revolution to create the next step in our evolution: The Sustainability Revolution.

This talk will focus on how to distinguish between linear (unsustainable) and cyclic (sustainable) systems. Participants will learn about different levels of sustainability and how to create the most impact with sustainable change. A sustainable rebuilding of Haiti will be used as a case example for this talk.

Madeleine Lansky, M.D. is a Board Certified Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist. She received her M.D. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and did her psychiatry residency at UCSF. She is a psychoanalytic candidate at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis.

Prior to medical school, Dr. Lansky taught outdoor education to 5th and 6th graders in the tidepools and redwoods of the Northern California Coast. She currently has a private practice in San Francisco and Oakland, and is the Executive Director of Profound Sustainability, a consulting practice that advises on sustainability-focused infrastructure development.