Chapter 7 - The Sociology of Sustainable Development

But in ecological or biocentric terms rio was a

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Unformatted text preview: icant shift away from traditional development schemes based in modernization theory. SD works within the same paradigm of market-oriented growth and sustains the “treadmill of production.” Cynics suggest that those whose ultimate goal is really economic growth have coopted green thinking, shaped themselves into “eco-” growthists, and called for sustainable development. Thus, sustainable development is traditional development disguised by a new name.67 The focus on growth comes at the expense of environmental and social aspects of sustainable development. In relation to this concern is that conservative SD shifts attention from the problems created by the “haves” to the problems created by the “have nots.” On the surface, Rio was a considerable success, united North and South through the concepts of free-market environmentalism and growth based on the position and policies advocated by the major multinational corporations (MNCs) and the Business Council for Sustainable Development. But in ecological or biocentric terms Rio was a failure, doing nothing to reverse the historic process whereby trade-led growth has led to ecological degradation through the overexploitation of natural resources. Thus there was a convention on biodiversity, but none on free trade; a convention on forests, but none on logging; a convention on climate, but none on cars. . . . In other words, the reality of UNCED was that it was concerned with defending the power, interests and living standards of the “haves” of the industrialized North at the expense not only of the “havenots” of the industrializing South but also of Gaia.68 Conservatives do not address the power and economic differentials between the “haves” and the “have nots.” Critics argue that this makes sense given that the proponents of the conservative, free-market approach are currently those who are at the top of the stratification system and who have an interest in maintaining the status quo. Chatterjee and Finger argue that it was by no mistake that busine...
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2010 for the course SOSCI INBA6610 taught by Professor Prescott during the Fall '08 term at University of the West Indies at St. Augustine.

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