To walk the talk of sustainable development

Let's go for a walk. The beauty of imagined walks is that we can take different roads simultaneously.

The first road is a rural highway in New England. It's a postcard-scene summer day. Traffic is moderate but walker-friendly. Farmers in pickups share the road with retirees heading to the post office and vacationers pulling campers wrapped in bicycles, coolers, and kayaks. Mountains rise on the horizon, fields of sweet corn and second-cut hay lie in the middle distance, black-eyed susans and daisies garland the road's shoulders. But fairly well hidden among the wildflowers and tall grass, beer and soda cans lie scattered, along with a truck tire, a disposable diaper box, a running shoe.

The second road is a rural highway in sub-Saharan Africa. There are hills in the distance, but they're hard to see through the high grass along the road. Maybe it's elephant grass, but the only elephants range hundreds of kilometers away, in game parks. Smoke rises from the nearby savanna as farmers clear fields by burning grass and brush. Traffic consists mainly of other walkers and an occasional truck, the back end filled with people and their market goods: yams, bread, sandals made from car tires, toys fashioned from old flip-flops, milk tins, and wire.

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This is the end of the issue. Ready to explore further?
August 26, 2002

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