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Unformatted text preview: ic, social, and environmental.
Building only one or two legs of a three-legged stool results in an unstable stool.
Here we must recognize and define two types of sustainability: weak and strong. Weak sustainability
assumes that substituting one form of capital for another is possible, i.e., we can compensate for a reduction in
one type of capital (typically reduced environmental capital) with an increase in another type of capital
(typically produced capital). This approach measures sustainability using the total value of the aggregate
capital stock, i.e., the combined values of economic, social, and environmental capital. In contrast, strong
7 1/20/2011 The Sustainability Revolution
John C. Ayers
sustainability argues that substitution is not always possible between different types of capital, and therefore
that we must maintain economic, social, and environmental capital independently (Ott 2003). For example,
economic capital cannot necessarily substitute for social or natural capital; some ecosystem services cannot be
replaced. Also, loss of social and environmental capita...
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- Fall '14