The Faulty Three‐Legged‐Stool Model of Sustainable Development

The Faulty Three‐Legged‐Stool Model of Sustainable Development Introduction Solutions to the many environmental problems facing humanity can only be effective if they are based on sound science, that is, on what we believe to be “true” to the best of our knowledge. These “truths” may be improved upon as research provides new insights, and when that occurs we can modify our solutions accordingly. However, natural laws provide the inviolate foundation on which effective solutions rest, and we ignore them at our peril. To build on a foundation of science, we also have to change the way we think. To paraphrase Einstein, we can't solve today's problems with the same thought processes that created the problems in the first place. This change has to come about not only in the way we solve problems but also in the way we as a species relate to the biosphere and the other organisms that share the planet with us. We often develop models as metaphors to describe some new understanding of a problem because they organize and simplify our understanding and suggest a seemingly reasonable way of solving it. As a result, the models are often “picked up” and used without the benefit of much consideration. Before long, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Biology Wiley

The Faulty Three‐Legged‐Stool Model of Sustainable Development

Conservation Biology, Volume 17 (5) – Oct 1, 2003

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0888-8892
eISSN
1523-1739
D.O.I.
10.1046/j.1523-1739.2003.02471.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Introduction Solutions to the many environmental problems facing humanity can only be effective if they are based on sound science, that is, on what we believe to be “true” to the best of our knowledge. These “truths” may be improved upon as research provides new insights, and when that occurs we can modify our solutions accordingly. However, natural laws provide the inviolate foundation on which effective solutions rest, and we ignore them at our peril. To build on a foundation of science, we also have to change the way we think. To paraphrase Einstein, we can't solve today's problems with the same thought processes that created the problems in the first place. This change has to come about not only in the way we solve problems but also in the way we as a species relate to the biosphere and the other organisms that share the planet with us. We often develop models as metaphors to describe some new understanding of a problem because they organize and simplify our understanding and suggest a seemingly reasonable way of solving it. As a result, the models are often “picked up” and used without the benefit of much consideration. Before long,

Journal

Conservation BiologyWiley

Published: Oct 1, 2003

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