- Do you consider the four system conditions to be a comprehensive definition of sustainability?
- What are the main reasons for your answer?
- Compare and contrast the four system conditions with the Brundtland definition. Which do you think is the most useful to inform organisational and community planning?
- Again, what are the main reasons for your answer?
These conditions provide a framework for societies activities that will positively contribute to reversing degenerative practices and provide a way for sustainability and regeneration. They potentially cover the full spectrum of human influence that is challenged. The four conditions are more comprehensive and developed than the Brundtland definition and bring greater clarity to the issues. For this reason they are more useful for planning purposes. Clarifying the frame of reference of these systems allows for a more specified approach to a given agency.
Do you consider the four system conditions to be a comprehensive definition of sustainability? What are the main reasons for your answer? I think that the four system conditions is a comprehensive definition of sustainability in terms of resource use. However, I believe it falls short of describing social and economic sustainability. The fourth condition is the only condition directly relating to social and economic sustainability (fair and efficient use of resources with respect to meeting human needs) is necessy, but not sufficient for social and economic sustainability. Society and the economy is about more than just meeting human needs. There are also wants and desires, intention, morality and ethics, free will etc. Secondly, the definition of fair in the fourth system condition is not well defined. Fairness regarding society and economics is not just a simple matter of rationalising equality, there is more to it. For example, morality and ethics, and the complexities of a justice system. The article itself explains that the four system conditions model is to be used together with a strategic program in order to point the direction of sustainable development.
Also note when describing the effect of the funnel pressures on the economy, the article lists mostly social and economic factors (“environmentally concerned customers, stricter legislation, higher costs and fees for recources as well as pollution, and tougher competition from competitors who invest themselves skillfully towards opening the funnel”). These are considered to be the driving factors for squeezing the economy into becoming more sustainable.
Issues of morality and ethics are largely qualitative, not quantitative, making scientific analysis largely irrational. It derives meaning from the underlying axiomatic foundations of the belief structure. Hence, the need for a strategic program to guide the four system conditions system.
Compare and contrast the four system conditions with the Brundtland definition. Which do you think is the most useful to inform organisational and community planning? Again, what are the main reasons for your answer?
The Four system conditions strives to maintain a scientific model, and therefore does not specify too much about social and economic sustainability. A strategic program is ment to be used in conjunction to steer the direction of sustainable development.
The Brundtland definition specifically defines poverty as a high priority. It attempts to “reconcile economic development with environmental protection.” Therefore, I think that the Brundtland definition would be more useful to inform organisational and community planning, as it seems to provide more guidance on this topic compared to the four systems framework.
The fours system conditions have been surpassed by the 8