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Unformatted text preview: n between the vastly different ‘needs’ in the First and the Third
Worlds nor between human needs and the consumer wants towards the satisfaction of which most of the First World consumption, at least, is directed.”14
Similarly, development has a number of possible connotations. Does development refer to production growth, as is typically indicated by growth of gross
national product or gross domestic product; does it refer to environmental
growth, such as an improvement of environmental resources; or does development refer to growth in human welfare, including health, working conditions,
and income distribution?15 “ ‘Development’ is conceptually an empty shell
which may cover anything from the rate of capital accumulation to the number of latrines, it becomes eternally unclear and contestable just what exactly
should be kept sustainable.”16
Sustainable development and “sustainability” are not synonymous. SD analysts argue that sustainable development is not a neutral term; it is a political 224 CHAPTER SEVEN concept that represents a political agenda.17 Sustainable development ﬁts into
a global conversation about the best way for nations to “develop,” often
thought of as poverty alleviation. John Dryzek argues that sustainable development is a discourse. “And it is not just any discourse. Since the publication
of the report of the Brundtland Commission . . . it is arguably the dominant
global discourse of environmental concern.”18 Sustainable development presents a strategy for development, an agenda for a style of development. The
term sustainability, at least as related to ecological sustainability, is more neutral or “scientiﬁc” in that whether or not an ecological process can be said to
be “sustainable” can be related to objective criteria. Ecological and social sustainability could also be constructed along more “objective” criteria; nonetheless, cataloguing these two types of sustainability is more problematic and more
prone to debates as to what is/is not sustainable.
In part due to the lack of consensus of meaning, critics argue that being in
favor of sustainable developm...
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- Fall '08
- The Land