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EarthA Tenant's Manual$
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Frank H. T. Rhodes

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801478239

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801478239.001.0001

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The Sustainable Planet

The Sustainable Planet

(p.205) Chapter 16 The Sustainable Planet

Frank H. T. Rhodes

Cornell University Press

This chapter provides an overview of sustainability and how it can be maintained in a world of limited resources. It posits some definitions of the term “sustainability,” noting that any workable definition thereof requires some combination of ethical, social, economic, environmental, and operational components. Two questions thus arise in obtaining a definition of sustainability: one of equity, the other of costs; and the two are closely related. The chapter then turns to the issue of defining a list of basic requirements for human survival, before turning to the larger issue of the Earth's “carrying capacity,” so to speak, and how it involves social, ethical, and economic as well as physical and biological considerations.

Keywords:   sustainability, limited resource, equity, carrying capacity, basic survival requirements

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