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Sustainable Development: Passing Fad or Potential Reality?

Sathiendrakumar, R. (1996) Sustainable Development: Passing Fad or Potential Reality? International Journal of Social Economics, 23 (4/5/6). pp. 151-163.

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Traditional economic thinking, in pursuit of economic growth, has led to the wanton exploitation of the environment. In the absence of sustainable development, there seems to be an inverse relationship between economic growth and environmental quality. That is, as economic growth or man-made capital rises, in the absence of sustainable development, environmental quality or environmental capital falls and vice versa (Pearce et aL, 1990) For many critics of sustainable development the environmental crisis is nothing less “than civilizational impasse”. Sachs (1991) argues that with the rise in the “global ecocracy”, the crucial ethical debates regarding what sort of society we wish to create and how we wish to live are ignored in favour of global managerial solution. For these critics, the current predicament is the result of ignoring the ethic of exploitation. This paper, however, will take the view that environmental degradation is essentially of economic concern. Environmental degradation is largely the result of governmental and market failure and widespread poverty, which places an intolerable stress on the environment.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Commerce
Publisher: MCB University
Copyright: MCB University
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