ISBN : 9780190883232
While politicians, entrepreneurs, and even school children could tell you that sustainability is an important and nearly universal value, many of them, and many of us, may struggle to define the term, let alone trace its history. What is sustainability? Is it always about the environment? What science do we need to fully grasp what it requires? What does sustainability mean for business? How can governments plan for a sustainable future?
This short, accessible book written in the signature question-and-answer format of the What Everyone Needs to Know® series tackles these and numerous other questions. Sustainability is a porous topic, which has been adapted and reshaped for developing ecological models, improving corporate responsibility, setting environmental and land-use policies, organizing educational curricula, and reimagining the goals of governance and democracy. Where other treatments of this topic tend to focus on just one application of sustainability, this primer encompasses everything from global development and welfare to social justice and climate change. With chapters that discuss sustainability in the contexts of profitable businesses, environmental risks, scientific research, and the day-to-day business of local government, it gives readers a deep understanding of one of the most essential concepts of our time.
Bringing to bear experience in natural resource conservation, agriculture, the food industry, and environmental ethics, authors Paul B. Thompson and Patricia E. Norris explain clearly what sustainability means, and why getting it right is so important for the future of our planet.
Chapter 1. What is Sustainability?
Chapter 2. Sustainability and Business
Chapter 3. Sustainability and Ecology
Chapter 4. Sustainability and Environmental Quality
Chapter 5. Sustainable Development
Chapter 6. Sustainability and Social Justice
Chapter 7. Sustainable Governance
Chapter 8. Sustainability in Science, Education, Religion, and the Arts
Chapter 9. Sustainability: What Everyone Needs to Ask
"Sustainability is the hot buzzword these days. Does it take a whole book to explain what it means? Yes and how lucky we are to have it. This is a book about how to think about what it takes to keep systems going. The Q and A format makes difficult and contested concepts especially easy to follow." -- Marion Nestle, Professor Emerita, New York University, and author of Let's Ask Marion: What You Need to Know about Food, Nutrition, and Health
"This book may surprise many readers by exploring sustainability from such diverse fields as business and scientific realms to social justice and the arts. Their lens of 'systems thinking' helps explain why sustainability and resilience increasingly dominates public and private sector agendas today." -- Christine Ervin, Former President and CEO, U.S. Green Building Council
"Thompson and Norris are some of the most distinguished academics in the field of sustainability. Although the book is clearly underpinned by a considerable body of evidence, the writing style is engaging and easily digestible. It will serve as an excellent introduction to the topic for students and curious readers alike." -- Michael Braungart, Chemist and Founder of EPEA International GmbH, and Co-Founder of MBDC