Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Sustainable Development Essay example -- Environment Ecology Essays Pa

Sustainable Development Sustainable development was defined in the Bruntland Report in 1983 as â€Å"development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.† (Dresner, 31) This is a satisfactory definition for most people, however, when it comes down to the policies of sustainable development, the definition given proves dangerously vague. Interpretations that stem from it can range from ‘do not touch any of the earth’s natural resources ever again’ to ‘use them up as quickly as possible.’ There are three main philosophies behind sustainability: weak, strong, and environmental. Weak sustainability states that the total capital of the earth must not decrease. That means that the natural capital (oil, coal, forests, etc.) can decrease as long as the sum of physical (produced means of production; technology) and human (people’s physical ability to do work) capital increase at the same rate or higher. Thus, this approach assumes that most, if not all, natural capital can be substituted by technology. Strong sustainability differs from this in that it assumes that very little natural capital can be substituted. It deems human-made capital and natural capital separate entities, thus the natural capital must not decline. Economists have trouble with this idea because it seems like it is hindering the current generation in order for future generations to become vastly more wealthy assuming that the physical capital will increase with time. While they might furrow their brow at this theory, any self-respecting economist gets short of breath at the thought of environmental sustainability. This approach calls for natural resources to be left alone. It says... .... â€Å"Education is the catalyst for helping everyone understand the dynamic nature of the interrelationship† of ecology/environment, economy/employment, and equity/equality. (Edwards, 23) The environment is to be preserved as much as possible while still strengthening the economy and achieving the sense of community that goes along with controlling population and energy use with equity. Works Cited Beckerman, Wilfred. A Poverty of Reason: Sustainable Development and Economic Growth. Oakland, CA: The Independent Institute, 2003. Dresner, Simon. The Principles of Sustainability. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd., 2002. Edwards, Andres R. Sustianability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift. Canada: New Society, 2005. Smith, Lee. "The Next Big Thing." Fortune 25 Dec. 2006: 24. Stronberg, Joel B. "More Than Solar." Solar Today Sept. 2005: 8.

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