"The Sustainable Development by definition takes into account the equitable distribution of income and the preservation of the environment and can not be used for the focus of economic gain."

Sustainability cannot be the goal, but has to be part of the development process. The first step towards sustainable development is to assume that natural resources are finite and that its renewal capacity is low. Understand that the way the market is proposed in the exploitation of natural resources, it is infeasible for them and who depend directly, stay healthy.

What we can do is incorporate in productive projects environmental costs and externalities, at least to try to mitigate the impacts caused by the occupation of space and use of resources.

Sustainable Development is extremely difficult to be fully achieved, but if not put as part of the problem system can be much higher. We cannot leave it aside, reflect on our actions and perhaps improve the way of living.

Photos in the Ilha do Caju


Sustainable Development: Is it possible? By Marcus Eduardo de Oliveira *, for Adital.

In his latest book "Earth Care, Protect Life", Leonardo Boff asserts that: " In 1961 , we needed half of the Earth to meet human demands. In 1981, empatávamos: we needed a whole Earth. In 1995 exceeded by 10% its spare capacity, but it was still bearable  "

y 10% its spare capacity, but it was still bearable  "

However, alarms triggered continued announcing the expansive aggression suffered by the Earth. The calendar marked the day 23 September 2008 predicted by scholars as the Earth Overshoot Day, or the Day of the Earth overdrive. From that date it was found, on a universal scale, the Earth has exceeded by 30% its carrying capacity and replacement.

From there, what to think, what to do? Continue rampant exploitation / depletion of natural resources without limits or do the reverse quickly? Continue prioritizing the market that requires diverse goods at any moment or look with respect and careful attention to the quality of life? Continue preaching drawn from the seminal work of economics that punctuate that economic growth is effective remedy for the cure of social ills or make that same science is subject to the plan of life , the essence of which is the quality and not the quantity ? Answers to these questions are loose around, although there is more dissent than consensus on thinking about the intricate relationship economy - -Features nature - desires - production - consumption.

Eric Hobsbawm, one of the greatest intellectuals of the century, in this regard has positioned itself: " Or we enter a new paradigm or go against the darkness." On the other paradigm, the renowned historian to say that not just make changes to the system, you must change the system.

Destroying nature in exchange for the voracity of the calls of the consumer market is before it, destroy the webs that sustain life. The market, as well as

whole economy depends on something that is above it all : nature. The economy, as productive activity , is just a byproduct of the natural environment and outrageously depends of various resources that nature emanates . We humans , like all living beings are parts and not the whole of this natural environment that offers the richness of living .

It must emphasize that we are not on Earth; are the Earth. Not occupy nature as mere participants it; are the very nature from the fact that we are made ​​of stardust. We depend on the nature of the land arable, water, air, sun, rain, phytoplankton (unicellular microscopic algae ) and depend on the stars. This is not prose or verse; it is a fact! Are the stars, with a unique ability to shine and therefore with the power to ward off the fear of the night , which convert hydrogen into helium by nuclear fusion , and this combination is allowed to emerge potassium, oxygen, carbon, the iron will be located at the amino acids ( chemical units that make up proteins ) and proteins ( forming muscles, ligaments , tendons , glands , finally, allowing bone growth ) . Without it life would not be possible.

We are still by nature philological reasons (scientific study of a language) . Not coincidentally, are originating from the biblical Adam (Adam in Hebrew means " Son of the Earth ") , although this is purely metaphorical . We are nature when we realize we still philological aspect that at the man / human word comes from " humus ", which means " fertile land " .

Every time we see these issues forward, we will further deepen the importance of the topic. Environmental concerns, seen in a not too distant past as just rhetorical romantic, today, for our happiness , occupy the agenda of key government leaders.

To some extent, seems to be consensus that we are talking about a perspective that involves , in essence , the maintenance of life by the close ties we have with the Earth Mother , also called Gaia.

This is in everyone's interest and not the practitioners of green activism - the first to call attention to these serious issues.

In this detail , it is appropriate will rescue the Canadian educator 's argument Herbert M. McLuhan (1911-1980) : "In spaceship Earth there are no passengers . We are all crew. " The economy, one space knowledge of the humanities, can not do without help in the dissemination of a speech in favor of life, not in favor of the god market as has been common since the emergence of the Classical School in the eighteenth century.

Discuss development through the lens of economics is, first of all , think about qualitative aspects , and not in the current economic dimension of the projects that link , only for the quantitative aspect . Understand the economy only by the amount of things produced is an abysmal mistake that has only done cause further waste of culture and lack of parsimony on regular productive activity, while deepens consumerism, this scourge of the capitalist system.

Even today, even in the face of the most striking and bitter speeches on the serious environmental crisis that is established , is presented as a good economic policy that can make GDP go up , regardless of whether this growth will be on the basis of operating / environmental destruction .

They forget or ignore apedeutas that everything that grows too much, or explodes or spreads. Exploding, spread, means, roughly , losses and waste. Grow grow is the basis of cancer cells. The economy can not follow this path . This leads to death. Now this is not solidifiable ; highly destructible . The path of any economy which only prioritize and go all out to meet the market dictates that calls for more production and consumption, reaching peaks of unimaginable growth , is known by all : destruction , deforestation , pollution, scarcity, species extinction .

In the name of this perverse model and criminally responsible for deaths that the market is supplied while nature is undercapitalised, while life is put at risk. An hour any - and that is not too late - someone will realize that the chief's words Seatlle said the US ruling in 1854 were promptly certain: " ( ... ) They will realize that you can not eat money." For the good of all it is necessary to mention that you can not measure growth of an economy when it drops a tree,

you pollute a river is contaminated a spring. It has another name : insanity.

There is no economy that thrives sustainably on the basis of this pathology. To mitigate this speech, modern economists have created the expression sustainable development. However, there are few who commit another mistake in the vain hope that this magic word (sustainable ) is indeed something applicable.

However, we can only ask: sustainable for whom? How? When? Where? The continue unbridled exploitation, cannot sustain this growth. Therefore, the expression is in itself misleading. In a development project that is guided by the guidelines of the competition, it is not feasible to be something sustainable , since this competition , made ​​by known mechanisms , only produces exclusion as a few wins and triumph over the defeat of hundreds of millions people.

If thousands are (and will increasingly be) those thicken ( and will thicken ) the ranks of poverty and misery , as we can say it is sustainable development? There is only sustainable when all participate, without exclusion. Exclusion is a concept that does not match the scope of the term sustainability.

Moreover, it is argued strongly that sustainable development is feasible because , one day, nature will respond by the demands of renewable resources. They forget that the well argue that the universe is finite; not increase in size. Resources, many of them will end ; many are not renewable. So once again it is appropriate to draw the attention of the " sustainable " term is unreliable.

  1. Boff reflecting on this in the book mentioned at the beginning of these words reflects that " ( ... ) sustainability must be guaranteed , first, to the earth , humanity as a whole , society and every person." The economy (science) in his few over 230 years need to advance much further to encompass primacy with that term in their predicates. Exclusively by the rays of the competition nothing will be achieved.

Of all kinds , the range of values ​​that should prevail then , if we are to prioritize life, must include cooperation , sharing, solidarity, communion , sharing. Definitely, the economic project needs to be at the service of life in its dimensions , including , mainly , the ecological perspective . Urge think of the view that the model is wrong and then put it's past time to propose alternative. Life in a hurry and the time clock goes too fast.

* Brazilian economist, expert in International Politics . Writer for the site " The Economist ", the EcoDebate Portal and Zwela News Agency ( Angola )