Then vice president al gore noted at a national

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Life-Span Human Development
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Chapter 5 / Exercise 3
Life-Span Human Development
Rider/Sigelman
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Then Vice President Al Gore noted at a national confer- ence in 1993 that the term sustainable development implies that “there’s something called unsustainable development. He and many others would agree that our current develop- ment path fits that bill. You will see evidence of this through- out this book. Sustainable development, although something of a new- comer on the political scene, is not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, more than 90 years ago, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt alluded to the concept in his annual message to Congress, a speech that has since become known as the State of the Union address. Roosevelt noted, “To waste our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it (so) as to increase its usefulness, will [undermine the prospects] of our children.” He went on to talk about “the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to [future generations] amplified and devel- oped.” In other words, we ought to meet our needs without foreclosing on future generations. Roosevelt was not the first to hold such a view, either. Native American cultures and indigenous peoples the world over have espoused a similar view and lived accordingly for thousands of years before Roosevelt’s time. Sustainable development, then, refers to improvements or advancements in human well-being that are enduring. Advocates of sustainable development concern themselves with strategies designed to meet all human needs—not just the need for a clean, healthy environment, but also needs for respectable work, good pay, recreation, peace, freedom from harm, and a host of other factors. Individuals clearly differ in the goals they set for human development, but several goals seem to be almost universal. These include a long and healthy life, good education, and a decent standard of living. The list also includes political freedom and a guarantee of hu- man rights. Freedom from violence and meeting survival needs for food, shelter, water, and clothing are also basic goals of human development. The challenge today is to meet these and other needs while protecting the environment. Sustainable development strategies seek ways to forge lasting relationships between humans and the environment, ones that protect and restore ecosystems rather than destroy and deplete them. Environmental protection is therefore vital to the success of any state, local, or national develop- ment plan. Sustainable development also seeks ways to cre- ate enduring relationships among people (for example, cooperative rather than adversarial) and a new economic system that is kind to the Earth and to all individuals, all genders, and all races. These measures are as important as sound environmental policies.
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Life-Span Human Development
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Chapter 5 / Exercise 3
Life-Span Human Development
Rider/Sigelman
Expert Verified

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