Sustainability is something commonly talked about in a dramatic manner and often pops up as a topic around environmental concerns. Sustainability is a practice that stands on three main pillars. These pillars are social equity, environmental protection, and economic viability.
The population of the planet went beyond the seven billion marks in 2015. Only a century ago, there were only 1.6 billion people. By the 1960s, this population peaked to 3.5 billion. The rate at which the population is undoubtedly growing is quickly picking up the pace. This inevitably brings about the question about providing food and resources to all of these people.
While a bigger population will consume more food, the world today does not see an even distribution of resources throughout different nations. This shows that one of the pillars of sustainability is not present in the general functioning of resource distribution throughout the world. Over one-third of the world’s population lives in poverty with limited basic resources including water, food, and energy.
According to Research by the United Nations University World Institute, the most wealthy 1% of the world’s population had a net worth of at least $514,512, had 39.9% of the whole world’s household wealth, a total wealth bigger than 95% of the poorest population. An even more shocking fact is that 2% of the world’s population holds 50% of the whole wealth.
This inequity is opening up an even larger gap between developing and developed nations since developed nations contribute more to pollution and resource use while developing nations are growing in numbers more rapidly.
The reasons to look into sustainability are:
From an ecological perspective, humans are not separated from the planet but are a part of it. The ecological motivation is for the preservation of humanity and the planet through protection of the Earth’s resources and purity.
Environmental concerns do not consider the planet and humanity as a single entity. The environmental viewpoint sees the planet as something that should be preserved for the sake of survival and evolution of the species.
The economic concern is for the unsustainability of a consumer culture that uses limited resources as a source of income. The viewpoint considers the possibility that a crisis will never be reached as technological advances will take care of the problem of finite sources.