It’s Time for a Supranational Sustainable Development Authority
The ingenuity of man that lead to the unprecedented global development of the twentieth century would certainly not have been possible without the earth’s rich natural resources. In this century, Earth has endured a population explosion, yet still has the agricultural capacity to nourish a global population of over six million people. At the same time, the quality-of-life in industrialized nations is perceived to have risen in tandem with the availability and affordability of mass-produced consumer products made possible by the resourceful use of raw materials and energy. Many trumpet this situation that man has created, and urge further industrial growth in the developing countries of the world.
Others are alarmed by these developments. They peer into the future and see population growth exceeding agricultural capacity, enlarged urban centers that provide neither the infrastructure nor the social support necessary for millions of people to coexist in such little space, increased mass-production of consumer goods leading to worsening pollution problems, and urban sprawl that encroaches upon fragile ecosystems.
Quite often, these two sides appear to face each other with opposing prescriptions for future world development. The former argues for environmental protection and creation of a stable ecosystem; the latter supports jobs and increased development of Third World countries. Yet this false dichotomy between jobs and the environment need not exist. The key is promotion of worldwide sustainable development, or development that “meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of future generations,” as defined by the Worl...
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