Energy Literacy. Energy is arguably the most decisive factor in both ecosystems and human economies. With energy literacy, citizens and policy makers have a basis for sound decisions. Householders can measure how much energy they use and strategize to obtain the most useful services from the smallest energy input. Cities, states, and nations can invest wisely in infrastructure both to produce and use energy with greatest efficiency and with minimal environmental damage. With energy literacy, we know the rules of the game.
Conservation. Conservation helps us appreciate the energy on which we depend. It fosters respect for resources, and for the energy and labor that are embodied in manufactured products. It reduces environmental damage and helps us focus on the dimensions of life beyond sheer consumption.
Resilience. No person or community is ever truly an island, and no person or community can be resilient in isolation. That’s part of the attraction of resilience: with greater ability to maintain basic functions and integrity in turbulent times comes a shared sense of confidence in our ability to adapt and endure — together.
Relocalization. With greater localization comes greater opportunity to participate in decisionmaking, a wider variety of productive local jobs, a more human-scaled society, greater ability to influence our immediate environment, and art, music, stories, and literature that reflect the uniqueness of our place. Localism binds together individuals, families, and communities, fostering a sense of responsibility to care for one another, and for the land.
Family Planning. If we want future generations to enjoy a healthy planet, with wild spaces, biodiversity, and abundant resources, we should reduce fertility now. Plus, family planning has direct benefits: household income is freed up to improve quality of life, improved health for mothers and children, fewer unplanned pregnancies and births, more educational and employment opportunities, and enhanced opportunities to improve the well-being of families.
Beauty. Its presence inspires us, and lets us know when we’re on a regenerative and sustainable path. Animals, plants, rivers, oceans, and mountains alike can make us feel pleasure, awe, and wonder. The sight of a great tree or the song of a goldfinch can send poets and mystics into ecstasy, while the deep order inherent in nature inspires mathematicians and physicists. Returning to sustainable way of life can awaken aesthetic pleasure and nourish our spirits.
Biodiversity. More than fifty million species of microbes, fungi, plants, and animals share planet Earth with us. We depend for our very existence on this web of life.