Environmental Quality and the Quality of our Way of Life
Today, sustainable development is generally accepted as a guiding principle. The present relation societies have with the natural environment is considered as being not-sustainable. However this presupposes some idea about the quality of the environment and of activities affecting the environment and, as a consequence, of the quality of life. In this article I defend the proposition that the limited progress made with respect to the environment - despite all the good intentions - could be due to a potential conflict between 'quality' and sustainable development. In other words: our interpretation of the concept of 'quality' is not compatible with the aims of sustainability. Some consequences for research and policy of accepting this proposition are discussed.
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