Today we went to the MODUL University at the top of the Kahlenburg. The bus took up us a windy cobblestone road at the top of the hill – 484 meters. Unfortunately it was somewhat foggy and rainy so we didn’t get as spectacular a view as it would have been on a clear day, but it did give some idea of the expanse of Vienna’s urban area. Out first presentation was given by Dr. Sabine Sedlacek who gave us a some definitions of “sustainable development”, after a group discussion we learned that one of the main problems with this term is that although in theory it is a good concept, it is, or at least was, non-operational. There are so many scales from which to encourage sustainability – starting very small from one’s own kitchen to global international agreements. Our next course was a continuation of Gunther Maier’s lecture on economic aspects of regional development. We learned some basic aspects of welfare economics and the prisoner’s dilemma situation. Next we had a presentation by the organization Michealer and Partner about Green building certificates for the tourism industry. We had the afternoon off to digest all this information and in the evening we met again at BOKU to watch a movie: “The Age of Stupid”. This film is set in the year 2055 and is documentary style explaining how humans could have saved themselves when they had chance, before global warming led to an uninhabitable world. The movie shows seven different human stories in completely different scenarios and parts of the world but who are all either battling or dealing with the consequences of burning fossil fuels and the resultant enhanced greenhouse effect leading to climate change. I think we all enjoyed watching this ‘call for action’ film to reduce emissions. Although it was somewhat depressing, hopefully it will motivate more people to also work towards reducing their carbon footprint.
text and pictures: Elizabeth Dickman