The Value of Environmental Sociology: Towards a Sociology of the Sustainable Society
This book is primarily a collection of empirical studies in environmental sociology. Each of the studies has its own analytical conclusions and it is not the role of this chapter either to list those conclusions again or to offer general observations that would direct attention away from the specific focus of each study. Rather, my aim in this chapter is to do something a little different. For over a decade now, as noted in Chapter 10, policy analysts, NGOs and government officials have spoken of sustainable development as a standard or as an ideal for environmental policy and action in the future. In the famous words of the Brundtland Commission, the United Nations committee that first brought the phrase to international prominence, sustainable development is a form of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (World Commission on Environment and Development 1987, 43). The discussion in this concluding chapter will focus on the distinctive contribution that sociology can make to the conceptualisation of sustainable living.
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