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The Free Range Virtual Library:

Sustainability: Virtuous or Vulgar?

Bioscience, vol.60 no.7 pp.539-544, July 2010


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Resource information:
Resource IDvucetichnelson2010
Resource titleSustainability: Virtuous or Vulgar?
Author(s)John A. Vucetich, Michael P. Nelson
Publication/ sourceBioscience, vol.60 no.7 pp.539-544
Date publishedJuly 2010
Summary text/ abstractProgress in understanding and achieving sustainability requires addressing it as both a scientific and an ethical issue. If sustainability is defined as "meeting human needs in a socially just manner without depriving ecosystems of their health," most of the words in its definition are normative or value laden. Depending on how critical normative terms such as "human needs" and "ecosystem health" are defined, sustainability could mean anything from "exploit as much as desired without infringing on the future ability to exploit as much as desired" to "exploit as little as necessary to maintain a meaningful life." We suggest that there are five key areas of sustainability. By examining how recent university cluster hires in sustainability compare with these five areas, we show not only how hiring has been radically lopsided but also how ethics has been entirely ignored. Lack of attention to the ethical dimension of sustainability is stifling progress toward sustainability.
Library categoriesAnarchism & Action, Economics, 'Limits to Growth', Neo-Luddism, Simplicity
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