Sustainable Development Essay

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Citizens of the developed world have come accustomed to a comfortable way of life. In recent history, humanity has become aware of the consequences of this way of life in terms of its physical impact on planet Earth, and in terms of its social impacts on generations to come. The notion that our species is having a negative impact on the world has raised concern as to whether human life will be able to indefinitely enjoy the comfortable way of life experienced by those in developed countries. Alarmingly, Earth’s population continues to grow, and more citizens are continually able to access the unsustainable ways of the current generation. According to Robert Engelman, the president of the The Worldwatch Institute, the future energy and food…show more content…
The United Nations, a globally recognized authority on environmentalism and humanitarianism, defines it as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. This certainly implies that sustainable development can only be met by ensuring that future generations may enjoy the same standard of life that is enjoyed by modern citizens in developed nations. As a result, sustainable development cannot be achieved by permanently depleting resources to meet the current generation’s needs – there must be some loop by which the current generation can maintain Earth’s state, so as to preserve it indefinitely. To continuously deplete resources is a practice that defies this definition, as Earth does not have an infinite capacity of dispensable material. Sustainable development is consistently described in terms of a convolution of three pillars: economic, social, and environmental. Ideally, effective sustainable development should result in the betterment of all three. Ban Ki-moon, the current Secretary General of the United Nations, clarifies these pillars and adds a fourth in this notable quote: “Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance”. Making positive changes with regard to sustainable development are difficult, as it requires a consideration of all of these pillars. The ideal solution, in accordance with sustainability, should be economically viable, protect the environment from harm, and increase quality of life. It follows that sustainable development, by nature, is an undertaking that will require international effort and collaboration, as
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