Sustainability Thinking for the Climate Change Generation
RETHINKING SUSTAINABILITY TO MEET THE CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGE (Jessica Owley & Keith Hirokawa 2015)
14 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2014 Last revised: 4 Aug 2015
Date Written: August 1, 2014
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
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