Sustainable Development and Planetary Boundaries

More than 1 billion people live in extreme poverty.  About half of them stay in rural areas, half in urban slums.  Most of them have no electricity, no transportation, no healthcare, no safe drinking water, no sanitation, and no schooling.  While great strides have been made in recent years, one out of every seven people on this planet struggle to meet their daily needs.

Industrialization and general development could help those living in extreme poverty attain a higher standard of living.  They could live healthier, safer, and easier lives, free from the myriad of difficulties they face every day.

However, this development must be sustainable.  The goals of economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability must be balanced.  Even the so-called Developed World has yet to achieve the necessary sustainability.  Heavy reliance on fossil fuel energy pollutes the atmosphere and oceans so much that it’s affecting the planet.  If the rest of the world develops along the same lines, we will only experience fleeting gains.

It is imperative that developing nations industrialize on a more responsible path.  The entire world, rich and poor alike, must balance economic growth with protecting the environment.  We all have progress to make, ignoring sustainability would lead to global disaster.

Sustainable Development and Planetary Boundaries

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