Sustainability: Should We Start from Here?

Alan Holland

in Fairness and Futurity

Published in print April 1999 | ISBN: 9780198294894
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599064 | DOI:
 Sustainability: Should We Start from Here?

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Alan Holland asks whether ‘sustainability’ will deliver the protection of nature. As long as it is taken to mean the extending of human welfare into the future, it may not, he argues, since this does not necessarily entail protecting nature. Holland argues against using ‘critical natural capital’ as a measure of sustainability since criticality is often regarded in anthropocentric terms. He argues instead for the protection of nature as ‘natural items themselves’, but recognizes that this objective may sometimes clash with satisfying human needs. Environmental sustainability and social justice, in other words, will not always pull in the same direction.

Keywords: anthropocentrism; environmental sustainability; natural capital; nature; needs; social justice; welfare

Chapter.  8335 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environment

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