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        States should take the initiative in addressing global level problems that have both an effect at the local level and for which effective local action can be taken. However, this does not mean that global level actions are not necessary.

                Beyond this, states should not dismiss the possibilities for creative initiatives at the international level, even if this does go against conventional wisdom. Among other reasons, action at a lower scale can create the dynamics for action and synergies at higher levels of government and between the different levels.9 Remember the famous saying attributed to Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; it is the only thing that ever has." State government leaders are citizens, too.

                There is a lot we don't know yet about what sustainability requires and what we will have to do. There is always room for improvement and we all need to stay on our learning curves. One way to do this is to question limiting assumptions that prevent us from taking innovative actions that could be effective at multiple levels.

We owe future generations progress towards sustainability, and a better quality of life. We hope that New Jersey and other states and countries will work in greater partnership toward the common goal of a sustainable planet Earth.


1 The authors thank Loretta O'Donnell and Jeanne Mroczko for their help with this article.

2 Brown, Donald. 1996. Thinking globally and acting locally: The emergence of global environmental problems and the critical need to develop sustainable development programs at the state and local levels in the United States. Dickinson Journal of Environmental Law & Policy. (Summer).

3 For a critique of this Principle, see Polsky, Matt. 2001. Short paper II for Ecological Economics. PUAF743. University of Maryland Department of Public Affairs. 1 (January). Available from one of the co-authors.

4 Available at <>.

5 Available at <>

6 Available at <>

7 Twyman, Anthony. 2000. The plight of the red knot. The Star-Ledger. 4 June.

8 Twyman, Anthony. 2001. U.S. creates reserve for horseshoe crabs. The Star-Ledger. 7 February.

9 This is described in Dernbach, John. Moving the climate change debate from models to proposed legislation: Lessons from state experience. Environmental Law Review News & Analysis. V 30.

Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations

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