Limits to Sustainability
The Global Round Table Main Event 2010, ISBN 978-963-08-1889-6
62 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2012 Last revised: 8 Jun 2013
Date Written: June 1, 2011
Change is unavoidable. Be it through natural processes or through intentional and unintentional human intervention, change will happen. It is our responsibility to ensure that change is desirable and ensures human sustainability.
There is an intimate relationship between change and sustainability. It is the capacity to endure, survive and meet the present material as well as intangible needs of humanity while preserving the natural resources, our culture and legacy for future generations.
The limits to sustainability are we ourselves. If we act greedily and shortsightedly, we will destroy a larger acceptance of what we have discovered as our universal values. Not cold rationality, but value-centred efforts will make our present and future sustainable. The strengthening of these values is our common responsibility.
Several major issues have arrived with full force on the global arena and are demonstrating our current shortsightedness: the financial crisis and evolving climatic challenges. Furthermore, the double natural disasters of earthquake and tsunami and resulting nuclear turmoil in Japan have fundamentally exposed our mixed perception of risk and probability. It would seem the skeptics would have been proven correct. Hence, sustainability is now seems to be an urgent necessity in short-term and longer-term decision-making.
Political leaders’ attention – if beyond short-term political benefit – is most often focusing on preservation of natural resources and the eco-system. Sustainability of our culture, fundamental ethical- and moral values – not to say our legacy for the future – are rarely among the political priorities.
The main event of the '2010 Global Round Table' recommends that actions relating to sustainability must go beyond the simple preservation of natural resources. It is about more than the economy, more than energy and more than the environment. Sustainability imposes ethical and moral obligations – including basic human rights – that go well beyond simple material obligations. The global village needs societal sustainability.
Keywords: value-based decision, sustainable-development decision
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