One plays one of the most important roles. Herman

One of the most
important conclusions is the understanding that for our future there is only
one way to solve the problems. This is only by realising that economic and
environmental problems are inseparable and should be solved together. Development cannot be based on the ruthless destruction of
natural resources; the environment cannot be protected when enlargement does
not take into account environmental damage. These problems cannot be addressed
separately by uncoordinated institutions or without a common policy.
Sustainable development must be carried out in a balanced and parallel way with
four dimensions that are inseparable: social, economic, environmental and
political. There is a great deal of connection between these dimensions –
solutions in one of the dimensions will always have an impact on other
dimensions. In many sources, the principles of sustainability are referred to
only three: environmental protection, economy, social aspects, and policy
issues are proposed to integrate into each of them. However, it is important to
note that political context of sustainable development are of great importance.

When it comes to
sustainability environmental sustainability plays one of the most important
roles. Herman Daly, one of the early pioneers of ecological sustainability,
looked at the problem from maintenance of natural capital viewpoint. In 1990 he
proposed that: “1. For renewable resources, the rate of harvest should not
exceed the rate of regeneration (sustainable yield); 2. The rates of waste
generation from projects should not exceed the assimilative capacity of the environment
(sustainable waste disposal); and 3. For non-renewable resources the depletion
of the non-renewable resources should require comparable development of
renewable substitutes for that resource.” This list has been widely accepted.
The list can be shortened into a tight definition. Environmental sustainability
is the rates of renewable resource harvest, pollution creation, and
non-renewable resource depletion that can be continued indefinitely. If they
cannot be continued indefinitely then they are not sustainable. Basically the
world’s standard definition of environmental sustainability is sustainable
development, which means sustainable economic growth, which is an oxymoron. No
form of economic growth can be continued indefinitely. Furthermore, all
economic growth today is terribly environmentally degrading. Thus it’s
impossible to be sustainable and achieve economic growth at the same time, now
and for at least the next 50 years or so. The Daly definition, even the
shortened version, omits the level of quality of life that a sustainable system
can support. It’s generally implied it should be high. Who wants to live in a
degraded world full of pollution, dead oceans, and suffocating heat? It appears
we need a new term that includes that extra dimension. But then again, we
don’t. We already have that term. It’s The Three Pillars of Sustainability (social,
environmental and economic sustainability). When all three pillars are strong,
people live in a system where high quality life is the norm. They have a clean
healthy environment, a satisfactory level of economic well-being, and a robust
level of social fulfilment.

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