Sustainability

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					Sustainability

An Academic Pursuit

Four Types of Sustainability
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Environmental Social Economic Human

Environmental Sustainability
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Protection of natural capital
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Water, air, minerals, ecosystem resources
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Much converted into economic capital or manufactured capital

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Natural capital maintained as a material source as well as a sink for wastes

Environmental Sustainability
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Source side = use renewables less than or equal to regeneration rate Sink side = release waste at rate less than or equal to ability of environment to handle waste Technology can promote or inhibit ES Nonrenewables can be made semi-sustainable if use rate held equal to development of renewable substitutes

ES Fields of Study
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Biology Chemistry Geoscience Geography Economics Business Political Science Interior Design

Social Sustainability
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Social sustainability = maintaining social capital
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Investments and services creating basic framework for society Community cohesion for mutual benefit, connectedness between groups of people, tolerance, compassion, equal rights, patience, access to information, common standards of behavior, discipline and ethics

Social Sustainability
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Commonly shared rules, laws and information promote social sustainability Violence is cost of failure to invest in social capital
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Violence and social breakdown major barriers to sustainability

Social Sustainability
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Criminal Justice Political Science Sociology Philosophy Religion Peace Studies Geography

Social Sustainability
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Anthropology Communication Computer Science Psychology Civic Engagement Global Studies Modern Languages

Economic Sustainability
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Economic capital should be maintained
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Consumption should only occur to the extent that one can remain as well off at the end of the period
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Consumption of interest (value added, not capital)

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Economics values money and rarely natural capital
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Economics must add scale to traditional criteria of allocation and efficiency Material, labor and energy must be renewable Waste streams converted into income streams

Economic Sustainability
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Economics Business Ecology

Human Sustainability
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Maximizing the life experience
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Human lifespan finite Human sustainability requires investments in the individual for duration of life

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Human sustainability = maintaining human capital
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Health, education, skills, knowledge, leadership and access to services

Human Sustainability II
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Good start – promoting maternal health and nutrition, safe birthing, early childhood care Requires 2-3 decades of formal education and apprenticeship Requires continued inputs into skills development, education, preventative health care and curative health care

Human Sustainability
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Nursing Social work Education Medical sciences Psychology Sociology Nutrition Interior Design

The three pillars of development (economic, social and environmental) must be strengthened together. But it is evident that two of the pillars - economic and social - are subsidiary to, and underpinned by, the third: a vibrant global ecology. Neither dollars nor our species will outsurvive our planet. The earth can survive happily without people or profit - Dave Hampton (letter to the Financial Times, November 2004)

Sources
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Robert Goodland “Sustainability: Human, Social, Economic and Environmental” – Encyclopedia of Global Climate Change (John Wiley and Sons, 2002) UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Division for Sustainable Development Website: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/documents/docs_s dissues.htm