Creating sustainable prosperity in the United States : the need for innovation and leadership
- Mastny, Lisa, ed.
- Includes bibliographical references (p. 40-44) and index.
- The urgency of our times
- Population: numbers matter
- Renewable resources: appreciating nature's services
- Non-renewable resources: going, going, gone?
- Waste and pollution: inefficiency incarnate
- Creating sustainable prosperity.
- The United States finds itself at a critical juncture, as environmental degradation and resource depletion threaten the capacity of the economy to generate wealth for the indefinite future. Despite growing awareness of the need to build a sustainable economy, U.S. output continues to be characterized by linear flows of materials, heavy dependence on fossil fuels, disregard for renewable resources, and resource use that is strongly connected to economic growth. Entire sets of assumptions, beliefs, and practices will need to be overturned if the United States is to build a sustainable economy in the decades ahead. This report shows that creating a sustainable U.S. economy will require a thoughtful and strategic set of national, state, and local policies that would remake the economic playing field under a new set of principles. Renewable resources cannot be consumed faster than they are regenerated. Non-renewable resources must be reused or recycled to the greatest extent possible. Ongoing development should focus less on ever-higher levels of consumption and more on increased quality of life. A sense of fairness, especially around wealth distribution, is needed to generate social and economic stability across society. Meanwhile, a deceleration of population growth will make the creation of a sustainable economy far easier. These broad principles suggest an entirely new way of building and operating an economy. Read inside for a discussion of policies that could help lead to sustainable prosperity in the United States.--From publisher description.
- Publication date
- Gary Gardner ; Lisa Mastny, editor.
- Worldwatch report ; 186