Economic and Social Obstacles for Sustainability

 

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UNRISD’s Project on the Social Dimensions of Green Economy and Sustainable Development. Bringing Back the Social. 2012. The Social Dimensions of Green Economy and Sustainable Development. Web. http://www.unrisd.org/greeneconomy. January27, 2016

 

There are a numbers of factors that make difficult for me as well as most people on this planet to be sustainable. One is the economic and financial systems that are deeply placed worldwide. Most global economies have a dominant model trend to stress in order to sustain its population. Economists refer it to the model trend that focuses on economic growth. Most countries in the world are experiencing a “[c]ontemporary urbanization[…] which manifests itself through changes in human population densities and land cover that are so rapid that we lag behind in understanding the process and its consequences” (Ernstson, Van der Leeuw, Redman, Meffert, Davis, Alfsen, Elmqvis, 2010). The rapid population growth demands a higher efficiency economy as a priority over the well-being of people and the environment. To become more sustainable it would require a complete shift in the worldview from seeing the environment as part of the economy to seeing the economy as a part of the environment. It would mean that the world economy would need to change people’s behavior and it also means that the world economy would need to be able to ensure the preservation of the environment as it has been used while not destroying it in the process.

Furthermore, the economy must play a significant role to incorporate the appropriate connection between research institutions and the economies around the world to incorporate the necessary innovations to understand as well as maintain the environmental processes services provide to us. “The process of innovation [must take] place within increasingly networked economies with changing social values and growing environmental pressures” (Dearing, 2000).

Another outside factor is the social obstacle, which is population growth. The rapid increase in populations throughout the world has led to inevitable and unsustainable ways of living for many people. Therefore, population growth combined with unstoppable consumption and production creates the largest social challenge to be overcome by humans. In order to achieve more sustainable development in the planet, we should all change the way we consume and produce our food, clothes, electronics and etc. The change in human consumer behavior would potentially help to create a more sustainable society. However, I would say that it is not enough just to change consumer behavior but to also work closely with governments to ensure incentives for private sector and consumer so that they pursue sustainable development.

The economic/financial and social are two of the most challenging barriers that impede us to achieve sustainable ways of living. It is an almost impossible task to achieve unless there is responsible commitment to our planet and most importantly the recognition by everyone of the responsibility that we all have to maintain the planet.

 

References

Ernstson, Van der Leeuw, Redman, Meffert, Davis, Alfsen and Elmqvis. “Urban Transitions: On Urban Resilience and Human-Dominated Ecosystems (2010).” Blackboard. Web. January 27, 2016.

Dearing, Andrew. “Sustainable Innovation: Drivers and Barriers (2000).” World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Web. January 27, 2016.

UNRISD’s Project on the Social Dimensions of Green Economy and Sustainable Development. Bringing Back the Social. 2012. The Social Dimensions of Green Economy and Sustainable Development. Web. http://www.unrisd.org/greeneconomy. January 27, 2016

 

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One thought on “Economic and Social Obstacles for Sustainability

  1. I am agree with your opinion of changing the consumer behavior. For example, many fast food restaurants can provide dine-in dinnerware instead of disposable packaging, that can encourage people to use reusable material as more as possible. Consumer behavior plays a important role in sustainability, and the challenge is the balance between economics and environment by marketing.

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