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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Sustainable Development: Physical and Moral Issues


Sustainable development gradually becomes an important concept embedded in many societal activities including economy, politics and perhaps even regulations. Sustainability is now a growing concern of businesses, governments, civic groups and individuals. These concerns are often linked to energy efficiency, reduction of environmentally harmful emissions, ecosystem preservation and other "save the Earth" efforts. They are becoming a part of a "triple bottom line" for business accounting: financial, social and environmental. Despite its increasing importance, current definitions of "sustainability" are somewhat vacuous. This paper presents a possiblity to characterize sustainability in terms of system theory and chaotic dynamics with strong links to to moral and ethical issues.

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