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What is Environmental Sustainability and How To Ensure a Sustainable Development of the Human Society?

Using the bicycle in the city reduces traffic jams and air pollution and at the same time it protects the environment.


Environmental sustainability does not represent the same thing as sustainable development because what is good for our society, may not be useful for the environment and vice versa.

What is Environmental Sustainability (definition)?

Sustainability represents the ability to continue a defined behavior for an unlimited period of time.

Environmental sustainability represents a balanced use of the renewable energy sources (without exceeding the rate of regeneration), a reduction of the pollution, and the development of renewable alternatives to replace the depleting nonrenewable energy sources indefinitely.

Environment on planet Earth must be preserved for us and the future generations.

To further develop the human society, according to the principles of the environmental sustainability, we need to harvest the renewable energy sources in a balanced way (without exceeding their regenerating rate), we need to reduce the level of pollution on the planet by reducing the use of fossil fuels, we need to regenerate the forests, we need to preserve the natural areas and use the sources of drinkable water more efficiently, and we need to develop new sources of clean energy that can replace the fossil fuels used today.

What is Sustainable Development (definition)?

The term sustainable development refers to the way of further developing the human society without harming the environment.

A broader definition says that sustainable development must meet the human development goals, but at the same time must sustain the ability of the natural systems to providing the ecosystems and the natural resources required by the normal functioning of the society.

How can we further develop the human society without harming the environment?

We first need to understand that the human society must thrive without harming the natural resources and the environment, and we need to learn how to live in harmony with the natural resources and not by destroying them because we are not pests.

To reduce pollution on the planet we need to replace the fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas (used today on a large scale), with renewable energy sources, but we need to tailor these renewable sources of energy and use them without affecting the environment by developing new and endless sources of clean energy that are not bringing harm to the environment in any way.

Cars with combustion engines that are producing air pollution must be replaced with electric vehicles with zero emissions.

We need to slowly reduce the consumption of heavy polluting fuels such as coal and oil, with low-carbon energy sources such as natural gas and with renewable energy sources with zero emissions.

Nuclear power must use the nuclear fusion reaction (not the nuclear fission reaction) to generate unlimited amounts of clean power without releasing harmful nuclear waste, we need to stop harvesting shale gas using the fracking process because this process is poisoning the underground water resources with dangerous chemicals and generates quakes from time to time due the fracturing process of the underground rock, we need to use the drinkable water resources on the planet in a more efficient way, and so on.

The moment when a sustainable development of the human society would disagree with environmental sustainability

Disagreements appear when a new project requires permits to build on a protected area, and where the new construction could harm animal life or natural processes and resources.

In such case, sustainable development would argue the utility of the new project or construction for the further development of the human society in that area, but environmental sustainability would argue that the new project or construction would affect the local flora and fauna, would affect a protected area, a natural resource, a natural process etc.

What can we do to create a balance between sustainable development and environmental sustainability?

Solving or creating a balance between these two principles is not an easy task.

In a country where the environment is respected, a project or a construction that could harm the local environment or the natural processes occurring in that area would not be accepted by the authorities.

However, in a country where the money is decisive and the environment is considered not very important, such projects or constructions would receive the green light even if they would destroy the local environment.

In some cases not only the local environment is affected by the decisions of the authorities.

In countries where the environment is not important, all people living in that area would be equally affected by the decisions of the authorities.

Example: Northern China suffers during the winter due to the heavy smog produced by the steelworks that are consuming coal because is the cheapest form of energy.

At the same time, the population starts using coal-fired boilers to ensure the heat inside their homes, and all these mixed with the lack of wind that could transport away the smog that gathers above the cities, is creating a situation, in which the smog accumulates above the city day after day, and starts coming down like a fog to invade the space where people are carrying out their daily activities.

In such case, not only the environment suffers due to the heavy air pollution in those areas, people are also affected by the decision of the authorities that simply don’t understand that steel and aluminum output must be stopped during the winter, especially in the days where there is no wind.

What can we do to remove the differences between sustainable development and environmental sustainability?

The only thing that we can do today to remove the differences between these two principles is to educate the people and of course the young generation about the importance of the environment.

People must understand that planet Earth is the cradle of the human civilization, we would not be here today if the environment on the planet would not support life as we know it.

The ancient civilization had more respect for the environment than we are having today.

If the human society has evolved over time, why are we destroying the environment today?

Children must be raised by learning about the environment on planet Earth and its importance, they must understand that nature must be preserved in good conditions for them and the future generations.

Danny Ovy

Danny Ovy

I am a writer and reporter for the clean energy sector, I cover climate change issues, new clean technologies, sustainability and green cars.

Danny Ovy
Danny Ovy
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One Response to "What is Environmental Sustainability and How To Ensure a Sustainable Development of the Human Society?"

  1. Nano Science says:

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