Weak sustainability assumes that substituting one

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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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