Sustainability Thinking for the Climate Change Generation

RETHINKING SUSTAINABILITY TO MEET THE CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGE (Jessica Owley & Keith Hirokawa 2015)

SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-033

14 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2014 Last revised: 4 Aug 2015

See all articles by Jessica Owley

Jessica Owley

University of Miami - School of Law

Date Written: August 1, 2014

Abstract

This book chapter contemplates whether we need to rethink sustainability in an age of climate change. Climate change does not change our view of sustainability; it heightens the importance of sustainability thinking. We see that in all the various ways people conceptualize sustainability, climate change complicates goal fulfillment. This chapter considers three approaches to sustainability: (1) sustainable development, (2) sustainable management, and (3) popular sustainability. Climate change fundamentally alters how we approach sustainable development and sustainable management. Trying to help developing countries improve living conditions is even harder when we also have to deal with both climate change adaptation and mitigation. Assessing and planning for sustainable management of resources is so affected by climate change that integration of adaptive management principles and resilience thinking become imperative. With our popular concept of sustainability as being eco-friendly, climate change implications demonstrate that merely minimizing environmental harm is inadequate. Instead, we need to work actively toward environmental improvement. Instead of slowing degradation, we need to reverse the process. The conclusion that climate change should affect sustainability efforts is inescapable. Whether it actually does so is questionable.

Keywords: sustainabilty, climate change, resilience, sustainable development

Suggested Citation

Owley, Jessica, Sustainability Thinking for the Climate Change Generation (August 1, 2014). RETHINKING SUSTAINABILITY TO MEET THE CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGE (Jessica Owley & Keith Hirokawa 2015), SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-033, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2475022

Jessica Owley (Contact Author)

University of Miami - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 248087
Coral Gables, FL 33146
United States

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