Why Is Sustainable Development Important

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Why is Sustainable Development important to Bermuda?
Vincent Williams-Savery

To answer this question, let us first define sustainable development. Sustainable development can be described as a process of “planning for a future without regrets”. What does this mean? A future without regrets is one in which our children can have the same quality of life and experience the same economic, environmental and social standards that we are allowed to enjoy today. Sustainability requires that we consume resources at a rate at which they can be replenished. When our capital, or resources, is used up faster than it can be replenished, this is referred to as an unsustainable situation. Bermuda is experiencing an unsustainable situation. We are living beyond our means and our way of life is placing an increasing burden on our island. Our affluence and consumption patterns are having a negative effect on the environment in which we live. We use more water than we collect in our tanks. Forty years ago, we consumed an average of 7 gallons of water per day per person. Now we use around 30 gallons a day, and consumption is still rising. How can we sustain this level of water usage? Bermuda already produces more waste per capita than New York, and each year we produce more garbage than the year before. In addition, waste is projected to increase by no more than 4% a year. Within the next 10 years, it is estimated that 60,000 televisions, computers, and other electronics equipment will become obsolete and require disposal. How and where can we dispose of such high amounts of waste? Since the introduction of the car to Bermuda in 1946, the number of vehicles has increased tremendously. By 1999 there were 41,528 registered vehicles on our roads (excluding agriculture, ambulances, fire engines and livery cycles). By 2009 this number had increased by 2,186 vehicles. The growth in vehicle ownership has led to air pollution, traffic congestion, pressure on our road space and...
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