Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development is a myth. Rich societies  export their unsustainability to other regions of the planet.
People are concerned about the environment and also the economy. They want both. Nevertheless, at the bottom of their heart, people suspect that human economic activity may have something to do with the environmental mess. Green and growth don’t seem to mesh.
Politicians, cunning individuals amongst members of the human species, have come up with the solution to the voter’s dilemma: Sustainable Development.
Sustainable Development sells the idea that a green economic growth is possible. Natural resource depletion and waste by-products don’t need to be an annoyance any longer. Implementing cleaner technologies and more efficiency in our production processes is the answer.  Green and growth can after all bond together.
But Sustainable Development is just nonsense. Some rich countries may inadvertently have helped to create the myth. For them it seems to work…on the surface. In reality, rich societies have not devised an eco-friendly economy; they have rather exported their unsustainability to other regions of the planet. Gold mines in South Africa may require 5 to 6 tons of ore to yield an ounce of gold. As a result, the deterioration of the environment in South Africa is as real as the misery of the slums in Johannesburg. Trading goldbricks in Zurich may be clean, but it would not be possible without messy mining somewhere else. In truth, Sustainable Development goes against the Second Law of Thermodynamics. No process can be 100% efficient. There will always be waste, no matter how efficient the technology is.
An oxymoron is two contradictory terms put together, like living death, deafening silence or pretty ugly. There are many more. Sustainable Development is the latest oxymoron created in Washington. We should add wise politicians to the list.

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