Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Sustainable Development

Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Sustainable Development

Article excerpt

4. Sustainable development By Susan Baker. Published by Routledge Publishing, Milton Park, 2006.245pp. ISBN 0-415-28211-X DOI: 10.1177/1466424006070497

This is an excellent and up to date account of the complex issues that underlie the problems relating to the equitable use and sustainability of the world's resources. Although the final paragraph does contain a faint glimmer of cautious optimism, the increasing complexity of the subject is the main message throughout. In common with many books of this type, after reading it one is left with a feeling of despair mainly because of the appallingly slow rate of progress in this area.

I excitedly read the last chapter first, which covers 'what has been achieved', because I thought it might have something new to say from the 'front line', but was disappointed. Nothing has changed much we have spent decades constructing academic models and then arguing about their validity, while the knock-on effects of the problem appear to get worse in terms of environmental pollution and food shortage for impoverished nations.

Unlike some 'popular' books on this subject it is unemotional and gives a carefully balanced non-committal overview in an academic format. It briefly traces the subject from its early beginnings in the 18th century and mainly focuses on the authoritative Bruntland model for sustainable development, which was formulated in the mid-1980s and which now has international acceptance. …

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