The sustainable development portal
Sustainable development is the organizing principle for meeting human development goals while simultaneously sustaining the ability of natural systems to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services upon which the economy and society depend. The desired result is a state of society where living conditions and resource are use to continue to meet human needs without undermining the integrity and stability of the natural system. Sustainable development can be defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations.
While the modern concept of sustainable development is derived mostly from the 1987 Brundtland Report, it is also rooted in earlier ideas about sustainable forest management and twentieth century environmental concerns. As the concept developed, it has shifted to focus more on economic development, social development and environmental protection for future generations. It has been suggested that "the term 'sustainability' should be viewed as humanity's target goal of human-ecosystem equilibrium (homeostasis), while 'sustainable development' refers to the holistic approach and temporal processes that lead us to the end point of sustainability". Modern economies are endeavouring to reconcile ambitious economic development and obligations of preserving natural resources and ecosystems, as the two are usually seen as of conflicting nature. Instead of holding climate change commitments and other sustainability measures as a drug to economic development, turning and leveraging them into market opportunities will do greater good. The economic development brought by such organized principles and practices in an economy is called Managed Sustainable Development (MSD).
The concept of sustainable development has been,and still is,subject to criticism, including the question of what is to be sustained in sustainable development. It has been argued that there is no such thing as a sustainable use of a non-renewable resource, since any positive rate of exploitation will eventually lead to the exhaustion of earth's finite stock; this perspective renders the Industrial Revolution as a whole unsustainable. It has also been argued that the meaning of the concept has opportunistically been stretched from 'conservation management' to 'economic development', and that the Brundtland Report promoted nothing but a business as usual strategy for world development, with an ambiguous and insubstantial concept attached as a public relations slogan (see below).
is the ongoing effort to provide sustainable energy
resources through knowledge, skills, and constructions. When harnessing
energy from primary energy
sources and converting them into more convenient secondary energy forms, such as electrical energy
and cleaner fuel
, both emissions (reducing pollution) and quality (more efficient use) are important.
Increased levels of human comfort generally induce increased dependence on external energy sources. Conversely, comfort can also be realized with lowered energy consumption by the application of energy efficiency and conservation approaches. Wise energy use therefore embodies the idea of balancing human comfort with reasonable energy consumption levels by researching and implementing effective and sustainable energy harvesting and utilization measures.
Use of any given energy source in human societies encounters limits to quantitative expansion. At the beginning of the 21st century some issues have achieved global dimension. Principal fossil energy sources, such as oil and natural gas are approaching production declines that may occur within the span of a generation (see Hubbert peak hypothesis). Closely linked to energy development are concerns about the environmental effects of energy use, such as climate changes. Energy development issues are part of the much debated sustainable development problem.
is a non-profit organization
with a mission to connect people through loans
for the sake of alleviating global poverty
. Leveraging the internet
and a worldwide network of microfinance
institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help fund small businesses run by low-income entrepreneurs around the world.
Loans made on Kiva.org provide 0% interest to lenders. Kiva itself charges no interest from the borrower. Borrowers are charged some interest by the respective microfinance institution handling the individual loan. Kiva.org keeps track of how much interest is charged and will not work with those charging unfair or exorbitant interest rates. Kiva borrowers have a historical repayment rate of 100%. Kiva is working with regulators to allow microfinance institutions to offer variable interest rates to lenders.
Kiva enables microfinance institutions around the world to post profiles of qualified local entrepreneurs online. Lenders consist of any individual with a credit card. Lenders browse and choose an entrepreneur they wish to fund. Kiva aggregates loan capital from individual lenders and transfers it to microfinance partners, called "Field Partners", to disburse and administer. As loan repayments are made by the entrepreneur, the Field Partners remits funds back to Kiva. Once the loan is fully repaid, Kiva lenders can withdraw their principal or re-loan it to another entrepreneur.
Thomas Robert Malthus
– 29th December
) was an English demographer
and political economist
. He is best known for his highly influential views on population growth
. He was born to Daniel and Henrietta Malthus, the sixth of seven children. They were a prosperous family, his father being a personal friend of the philosopher David Hume
and an acquaintance of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Malthus' views were largely developed in reaction to the optimistic views of his father and his associates, notably Rousseau. Malthus's essay was also in response to the views of the Marquis de Condorcet. In An Essay on the Principle of Population, first published in 1798, Malthus made the famous prediction that population would outrun food supply, leading to a decrease in food per person. He even went so far as to specifically predict that this must occur by the middle of the 19th century, a prediction which failed for several reasons, including his use of static analysis, taking recent trends and projecting them indefinitely into the future, which often fails for complex systems.
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