Earth Community Organization (ECO)
the Global Community
David Del Porto
for Discussion Roundtables 1, 4, 7, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 33, 36, 40, and 55
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Coefficient of Sustainability (CDS)
The Coefficient of Sustainability (CDS) is a formula or algorithm to provide a way of abstracting the concept of Sustainability - that includes not only quantifiable elements, but values that are considered "externalities" that are more dificult to render - into a single statement.
CDS is a working tool to measure Sustainability from a variety of perspectives that could be utilized by businessmen and planners who will see this as a cost/benefit analysis for budgeting resources and planning to social scinetists who will seek to quantify the externalities imbedded in the concepts "Quality of Life" and measurable by economists when they use the term "Cost of Living."
Coefficient of Sustainability (CDS)©
David Del Porto May 31, 1999
The basis for a workshop on Sustainable Strategies
The following coefficient, formula or algorithm is the result of my study and was developed by me to provide a way of abstracting the concept of Sustainability-that includes not only quantifiable elements, but values that are considered "externalities" that are more difficult to render-into a single statement.
Sustainable strategies are those activities we must continuously undertake to nourish the Quality of Life that we desire for ourselves, our children, grandchildren, family and extended family as well as our village, community, nation and all life as we know it. In this sense it is a quality or a parameter that is characteristic of Sustainability.
I developed this Coefficient of Sustainability as a working tool to measure Sustainability from a variety of perspectives that could be utilized by practitioners to assess a value for Sustainability that could be understood by a diverse population from businessmen and planners who will see this as a cost/benefit analysis for budgeting resources and planning to social scientists who would seek to quantify the externalities imbedded in the concepts "Quality of Life" and measurable by economists when they use the term "Cost of Living"
As in engineering, mathematics and economics, a coefficient is "that which unites in action with something else to produce a result" (Webster's Unabridged Dictionary). In mathematics, a coefficient is used as a multiplier to some variable quantity. In physics a coefficient is a constant measuring change in some property of a substance under a given condition, such as the coefficient of performance which measures the efficiency of a process or machine by dividing the output in sacs watts by the input in watts required to produce the output.
When asked for a metaphor for this formula, I thought it could be best understood by making an analogy to the transitive verb form "Gardening," which carries the implied personal participation of man in the planning, cultivation, nurturing and utilization of dynamical living systems that have value to the gardeners, be it individuals, families, villages or nations. It is a metaphorical and actual designator I have used to illuminate the concepts underlying my ecological engineering work in pollution prevention, by designing and engineering "Gardens" that utilize potentially polluting effluents before they become problems.
The CDS© is as follows:
Quality of Life (or QL)
S = <-------------------------->
Cost of Living (or Cl)
S = The Coefficient of Sustainability©
QL = The Quality of Life (historical, immediate and future values that we wish to Sustain). The QL is different for every individual, family, community or nation and therefore is, by necessity, unique to every culture.
Cl = The Cost of Living (the index or assessment of investments and consequences required to nourish-or impoverish-the QL over time). The Cl is always inextricably connected to the QL and must be developed concurrently with the establishment of the values underlying the QL
L = Life The unique attribute and quality that people of different cultures use to reference the Nature, Soul or Sprit embodied in certain evolving organisms that sets them apart from their constituent chemicals and energies.
Holistic and dynamical, living systems include elements such as energy, matter, fields and information co-evolving through time with their environment and other organisms gaining formative information from past experiences, adding that to new experiences from the present and with control, regulation and feedback proceed into their future armed with the collective wisdom that optimizes their fitness.
l = Living the totality of all Life activities of organisms
<---------> = the divisor symbol, but in addition, the backward and forward arrow also recognizing the nature of time as well as the internal quality that connects us to our historical memories that arise within all developing systems enabling the formation of an attractor or vector field to inexorably draw us to a future)
Cl is further defined as:
C1 plus (+) C2 where:
C1 = Costs that must be born that nourish the QL and: C2 are Costs to be avoided that impoverish the QL
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