What Sustainable Development Is All About

Sustainable development is the concept that defines the need for transition and change that our planet and its inhabitants need to live in a more equitable, healthy, and environmentally friendly world.

A model for the organization of society:

Sustainable development comes from the combination of two words, which define a model of the organization of society.

    – By development, we mean improving a society’s performance (economic, social, etc…).

    – The term sustainable characterizes something that is stable and resistant.

The combination of the two words defines sustainable development: the improvement of the performance of a society to make it stable in time.

Sustainable development is a way of organizing society to meet the needs of the present as effectively as possible without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Today, this transition to a more sustainable model is necessary to live in a more equitable world and to preserve our planet and its natural resources.

The model of a sustainable society is based on fundamental pillars and principles.

The foundations of sustainable development:

A sustainable economy is a healthy management of human activities without harming humans or the environment. Sustainable development implies a mode of organization based on 3 essential pillars:

    – The environmental quality of human activities to limit environmental impacts and preserve ecosystems and natural resources in the long term.

    – Social equity ensures that all members of society have access to essential resources and services (education, health, food, housing, etc.) to meet humanity’s needs, reduce inequalities and maintain social cohesion.

    – Economic efficiency by reducing extreme poverty and guaranteeing employment for the greatest number of people in an economic activity that pays a decent wage.

These 3 pillars make up the challenges of sustainable development. These pillars are accompanied by fundamental principles to establish a more sustainable society.

The fundamental principles of sustainable development:

    – Solidarity between countries, people, generations, and members of society. For example: saving raw materials so that the greatest number of people can benefit from them.

    – Precaution in decisions not to cause catastrophes when we know there are risks for health or the environment. For example: limiting CO2 emissions to slow down climate change.

    – Participation of everyone, regardless of their profession or social status, to ensure the success of sustainable projects. For example: setting up children and youth councils.

    – Responsibility of everyone, citizen, industrialist, or farmer. So that whoever damages, degrades, and pollutes the environment has to repair it. For example: make the industries that pollute a lot pay a tax.

These principles are sometimes incompatible with the consumer society in which we live.

This is why many people (elected officials, associations, companies, individuals, young people…) are asking that our economic system be rethought to move towards a more sustainable society to preserve the planet and its resources.

Sustainable development is an urgent need and a real opportunity to redesign our society.

Why is sustainable development essential today?

UNESCO’s Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change (Part 2)

In 1800, there were 900 million human beings on earth. In 2020, our planet was inhabited by 7.8 billion people. This strong population growth is accompanied by increased demand for goods and services and production methods that lead to environmental and social disorders.

In the 1970s, many experts and scientists sounded the alarm about the impact of human activity on the planet. Since the industrial revolution, our society has experienced unprecedented development, but without really measuring the consequences of the evolution of its lifestyle. To this have been added :

    – the acceleration of exchanges with the rest of the world (globalization) ;

    – the increase in inequalities between rich and developing countries;

    – the demographic growth forecasts aiming at 10 billion inhabitants on the planet by 2100.

Today, 80% of natural resources are consumed by 20% of the world’s population. This creates areas of great wealth and great poverty. In some regions, the inhabitants do not have access to drinking water, health care, education, and a dignified job.

But how can we ensure access to food and drinking water, health, and education for all? How can we protect biodiversity and fight against climate change?

This is why it is urgent to find a new model: sustainable development.

Human societies will have to enter a transition and rethink all their activities. Hopefully, many actors are already engaged in this transition towards a mode of operation that is more respectful of the environment and human beings.

The actors of sustainable development

Everyone is concerned by this transition to a new, more sustainable model of society. The different actors who are already acting, at their own level, by carrying out sustainable development actions are :

US and international citizens: children, young people, parents, etc…

The eco-delegates in high school and college

Educational institutions: schools, colleges, high schools, universities, campuses

Associations and clubs



Local authorities: cities, departments, regions…

The State

The European Union 

The United States

And many others… 

Hope this post has been informative to you. Remember to jot down a few words in the comments below. We are all concerned with sustainable development, so let’s move towards a new model of society that is more respectful of the environment.

The Malthusian Theory of Population Growth

The Malthusian Theory of Population Growth

Men must have been dimly aware of the human population being a huge problem from very early times. It was not, however, until the dawn of the nineteenth century that anyone worked out a theory of population growth. The man who did this was Thomas R. Malthus, an English clergyman.

So, let’s see what’s so great about this theory that it was even mentioned in Dan Brown’s Inferno. (PS: For the connection between the Malthusian Theory and Dan Brown’s novel, you can have a look at: The Inferno Principle: Can the World Support Us?)

The History

The History

In the closing years of the eighteenth century, men were very much interested in the possibility of unlimited progress of mankind. Malthus’ father believed firmly that such progress was possible. He maintained that if men could only perfect their political systems, life would be forever more happy, prosperous and peaceful throughout the world. The younger Malthus denied that this was possible – he maintained that the pressure of population would inevitably result in misery for mankind. Father and son took part in heated discussions over the matter. The son eagerly sought support for the arguments that he sometimes drew out of thin air. Thus, he was led to examine the whole problem of population size and growth. His famous Essay on the Principle of Population appeared in 1798. An immediate sensation, it brought about heated controversy, which has not yet died down. Malthus devoted five years to research and travel and then brought to research and travel and then brought a second edition of his work.

The Theory

The Theory

The Malthusian theory is based to a large extent on the difference between geometric and arithmetic progression.

Malthus took the position that human beings can produce their young in what is practically a geometric progression. His study of population problems in the American colonies convinced him that under favorable conditions a human group could double itself every twenty-five years. Such a progression would lead to enormous numbers in a very few centuries. But, of course, all these individuals would have to be fed. Malthus, therefore, turned his attention to the practical possibilities of increasing food production. He came to the conclusion that mankind could not hope to increase its subsistence by more than an arithmetic ratio. That is, man would add to food production every twenty-five years an amount equal to that which was being produced at the time that Malthus wrote.

Under such conditions, the geometrical increase in population would have to be limited by the arithmetical increase in food. Population would always tend to press upon food supplies and in Malthus’s opinion, this pressure would be so great that food supplies would always run short and much of the population would be condemned to a life of misery.

Malthus realized that food supplies could be increased by advances in farming and other techniques. But he claimed that no society would ever succeed in providing for all the offspring that man could produce. Therefore there must be some checks. Malthus divided these into two groups. In the first group, he included the preventive checks that limit the birth rate such as celibacy, deferred marriage and vice. The second group consisted of positive checks that increased the death rate – here he included war, famine, pestilence and again, vice. All of these checks involved misery, said Malthus. But he insisted that the minor misery of the preventive checks was preferable to the major misery of the positive checks.

Don’t be surprised, but he even advised young people to postpone marriage until they felt reasonably sure that they could provide satisfactorily for their children. Well, on that, I agree with him. In this way, they would be serving both themselves and society.