Philosophy of Sustainable Development

Philosophy of Sustainable Development






Philosophy of Sustainable Development

Many people have chosen to define the term philosophy of sustainable development as “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. For a person to understand clearly what the term means, one has to consider what the current needs are and whether achieving them will affect the future generations in any way. I believe that many people believe they have a clear view of what their needs are and most of them have an idea of how those needs can be met. However, I believe few people realize that the methods used to meet those needs will generally compromise other sectors. For example, the environment is usually affected when governments set their target on development. We are then restricted when it comes to meeting our needs since we have to consider future generations. Economics, environments and social systems are the three indicators of sustainable development. Developers should not only consider one of the indicators but should realize that sustainable development considers all the three systems. Sustainable development aims at improving the economy, while it is preserving the environment and the social well-being of the people, in areas such as education, health and a responsible political system.

I am from South America and understand this concept well. The theory of sustainable development is a wonderful idea. However, reality has taught us differently. What I have learned about being American is that in order to succeed I must think about me, myself and I. Thinking beyond that is not something I have been taught in this country. This individualistic mentality is exactly what contradicts the theory of sustainable development. The definition states that we conserve so that we can ensure that we are able to meet future needs. This is not the philosophy of the majority and therefore this theory is just that a theory. When in a controlled environment, this could work but outside of that would not sustain itself.

In regards to education, sustainable development is a concept that works with the support of your peers, administration, and families of students. However, without such support the concept falls apart. The reason for this breakdown is that there are too many conflicting agendas and philosophies. For instance, economies, which work at sustaining their economical development, may end damaging their environment. We need to be educated so that we are able to balance all the sectors. We need to maintain our culture as a people. Many people have failed to maintain their culture and this has led to the decline in some of the practices that were once the strengths of those cultures.

Technology is an important and integral part of development, which we use all the time. Some of the most important areas where we have seen meaningful and beneficial application of technology are in education, manufacturing, research and energy extraction and use. Technology has affected our lives in a tremendous way and it has largely improved our lives. We have however seen it conflict with the main goals of sustainable development. This means that as we develop technology, we should consider the other sectors of sustainable development. We should develop technology in such a way that it does not erode our culture or contribute to environmental degradation. I believe that if we all work towards the same goals, then it will be easier for use to achieve sustainable development. When aiming to meet the goals of sustainable development, we should ensure that we balance all the sectors involved.

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