Sustainable Development

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To ordinary people, the word sustainable is an adjective that means the activity the word describes can continue forever. For example, since biblical days, farmers practiced sustainable agriculture by leaving their fields fallow every seventh year. In early America, farmers knew that for agriculture to be sustainable, the same crop could not be planted in the same field year after year. Sustainable agriculture has always been practiced by successful farmers. Farmers who didn’t practice sustainable agriculture inevitably failed.

Just like an article I read that stated “The United Nations has given the word sustainable a new definition. Introduced to the world in “Our Common Future,” the report of the 1987 U.N. Commission on Environment and Development, and further defined in the U.N.’s “Agenda 21″ at the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, the term “sustainable” was married to the term “development,” and a brand new concept entered the world. The term “sustainable development” means any activity that has economic impact, and is equitable, and has no negative environmental impact. All three elements are required to qualify as 'sustainable development.'”

There can be no development without economic impact, of course, nothing new here. “Equitable,” however, is a new requirement. Equitable means social justice, which means, as a beginning point, equal benefit from the earth’s resources. Progressives have expanded the definition to include such things as a right to housing, health care and a livable wage, but at the very least, equitable means redistribution of wealth from those who have earned it to those who have not. To meet this requirement of sustainable development, government must empower agents to take wealth from one segment of the population and give it to others.

To be sustainable, according to the U.N. definition, development must have no negative environmental impact. This requirement demands a monitor of development activity and a...
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