Archive for the ‘Critiques of Sustainability’ Category

A few weeks ago, one of my students asked if there existed any identifiable schools of thought that have put forth a world view completely outside of the idea of sustainability. This is a great question. The notion of sustainability the Brundtland Commission report articulated seems to frame the issue completely, to the extent that even those who would critique the notion do so within the contextual universe created by the Commission. Following Marshall McLuhan, this seems to be the proverbial water that the fish could not possibly have discovered, or, following Thomas Kuhn, the current paradigm in which “normal” science (and other work) is done.

After doing a bit of initial research, I haven’t been able to find any evidence that there is a school of thought that does not engage itself in fundamental ways with the Brundtland Commission Report’s definition of sustainability/sustainable development (If there’s anyone in the Internet universe that can provide evidence otherwise, please do comment below).

What I did find, however, seem to fall into two general categories: Critiques of the idea of sustainability itself, and critiques of implementation of Brundtlandian sustainability. (See sources below)


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