Crisis, Innovation and Sustainable Development
Show Less

Crisis, Innovation and Sustainable Development

The Ecological Opportunity

Edited by Blandine Laperche, Nadine Levratto and Dimitri Uzunidis

This unique and informative book highlights the relationship between crisis, innovation, and sustainable development, and discusses the necessary conditions required to seize the ecological opportunity. The authors study the strength of change for building a new society, and the theoretical origins and political aspects of environmental concerns. They also sketch the outlines of a global governance system seeking to promote sustainable development.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 4: Technology and Sustainable Development: Myth or Reality?

Arnaud Diemer


Arnaud Diemer INTRODUCTION Our Common Future (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987), better known as the Brundtland Report, foundationally defined sustainable development as ‘development that meets present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. The ecologist–environmentalist community was quick to raise the alarm over this definition (Jansson, 1988; Daly, 1990). Firstly, because it did not specify what type of development should be sought (Dilworth, 1994), and secondly, because this development concept was closely linked to a certain level of growth. The commission members, led by Secretary General Jim MacNeill, even encouraged states: [to seek] ‘what we called the growth imperative. The world’s economy must grow and grow fast if it is to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations. The Commission estimated that a five to ten-fold increase in economic activity would be needed over the next half century just to raise consumption in developing countries to more equitable levels. Energy use alone would have to increase by a factor of eight, just to bring developing countries, with their present populations, up to the level now prevailing in the industrial world. I could cite similar factors for food, water, shelter, and the other essentials of life’ (MacNeill, 1989, p. 18). Finally, the notion of human needs was introduced in the context of generational equity, without really being specified (Kartchevsky and Maillefert, 2009, p. 27). In fact, economists have monopolized the field of sustainable development and placed the concept under...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.