What is Sustainable Development?

Poor countries are enjoined to seek not just development but sustainable development. But what exactly does this mean? After all, Western industrialization was not sustainable; the trends established in the early stages of the Industrial Revolution could not (and did not) continue indefinitely. Given that it was unsustainable, was the Industrial Revolution therefore a bad thing? Exploitation of nonrenewable resources is, by definition, not sustainable. Ought it therefore to cease? Wealthy countries do not appear to be much concerned with sustainability in their own economic affairs. Why then should poor countries be asked to behave differently?

Festival: 2006

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