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1 Sustainability and Discontinuity

There is little sense in discussing the actual probability of such a course of action. It is pointless because, in the light of implications brought by other scenarios, it is evident that it is the only direction in which to head. Accepting this point of view will create a new question: how can we favour the positive side of human nature? Or not to sound boastful, how can we promote such cultures and organisations that would hinder people from doing too much harm to themselves? Before answering those questions it would be useful to remember that nuclear destruction and ecological catastrophes have threatened us in diverse times and due to diverse reasons. Now from a certain distance, we realise that they are two aspects of the same phenomenon and with an ability to listen, we would understand that they teach us the same thing: both are unwanted creatures of human intelligence, that show us the power and limits at the same time (limits of rationality and capacity to control our choices in the medium to long term). Both play their part in a certain social and productive system and in its way of existing and functioning. Certainly, one appears in a scenario of violent war and another in the peaceful search for well-being. But a well-focused observation would reveal immediately how this search for well-being has intertwined with violence, how arms make part of our productive system (one of the most profitable parts), and how their utilisation is part of economical and commercial politics. Both tell us that something has to be changed. From this meditation many different discourses may start. Ours will have its primary stress on ecological topics and on sustainable changes, and will try to shed light on their connection with other topics as well; this is more than anything the goal of this book, i. e. guidelines for the design of sustainable goods and systems.

1.2 Sustainable Development and Environmental Sustainability In 1987 the World Commission for Environment and Development (WCED) prepared a document entitled Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report, after the coordinator of the commission, Gro Harlem Brundtland. It was the first occasion on which the concept of sustainable development was introduced. Its definition says in a few words the following: sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (WCED, 1987). Evidently this definition does not speak about the environment per se, but refers to the well-being of people as an environmental quality. From this originates a fundamental ethical principle: the responsibility of present generations to future generations. Our Common Future is an historically relevant document for two reasons. First, it brought into international debate the aforementioned definitive imposition of the idea about responsibility for the future. Second, which in the end might be more important, was the venture to question the ideas of development: an idea that has so far been indisputable. Combining the term “development� with an adjective

Design for Environmental Sustainability  

Download: versi pdf [http://www.ziddu.com/download/12569881/DesignforEnvironmentalSustainability.pdf.html] versi zip [http://www.ziddu.com/...

Design for Environmental Sustainability  

Download: versi pdf [http://www.ziddu.com/download/12569881/DesignforEnvironmentalSustainability.pdf.html] versi zip [http://www.ziddu.com/...

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