Environment for Beginners arrow Pollution Impacts on the Economy arrow What Is Sustainable Development?
Environment for Beginners


"Trying to save ecosystems has more to do with changing egosystems." - Don Rittner

What Is Sustainable Development?

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Sustainable development is economical exploitation specifically structured to satisfy our present needs without reducing the wealth or health of future generations. Since it avoids any kind of irreversible damage, it inevitably assumes that economical growth functions in harmony with the environment and surrounding ecosystems. Under this principle, the amount of available wealth would be the same for each generation.

Since pollution is a cost, creating wealth by polluting is not considered to be a form of sustainable development. This is because we negatively affect the wellbeing of future generations. For example, respiratory illnesses are an increasing problem due to the consumption of oil and natural gas in massive quantities. Since the consequences of these health implications are long-term, we inflict the costs on future generations. Also, these resources are limited. Their unrestricted use leads to their depletion, thus denying access to them in the future.

In order to use these energy sources in a sustainable way, we would need to consume them at a level acceptable to the planetís limitations. Also, they would have to be managed as to accommodate the needs of future generations, and in a way that allows them to incur the same benefits as their predecessors. The regulated use of resources would lead to their availability for future generations.

An example of sustainable development is the creation of national parks in order to promote and exploit tourism. Another example is the use of alternate sources of energy such as wind and solar power. Future generations will have as much access to these energies as us due to the fact that they are clean and renewable.

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