Sustainable development ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the socialchallenges facing humanity. As early as the 1970s "sustainability" was employed to describe an economy "in equilibrium with basic ecological support systems." Ecologists have pointed to The Limits toGrowth, and presented the alternative of a "steady state economy" in order to address environmental concerns.
The field of sustainable development can be conceptually broken intothree constituent parts: environmental sustainability,economic sustainability and sociopolitical sustainability.
The retreat of Aletsch Glacier in the Swiss Alps(situation in 1979, 1991and 2002), due to global warming.
John Baden views the notion of sustainable development as dangerous because the consequences have unknown effects. He writes: "In economy like in ecology, theinterdependence rule applies. Isolated actions are impossible. A policy which is not carefully enough thought will carry along various perverse and adverse effects for the ecology as much as for theeconomy. Many suggestions to save our environment and to promote a model of 'sustainable development' risk indeed leading to reverse effects. Moreover, he evokes the bounds of public action which areunderlined by the public choice theory: the quest by politicians of their own interests, lobby pressure, partial disclosure etc. He develops his critique by noting the vagueness of the expression, which...