BY: MICHAEL M CROW
Although brilliant for their time, the nation’s founders did not make provisions for the challenges of strained natural resources.
In neither the Constitution nor the basic principles of capitalism, as best represented by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations, is there evidence of any meaningful awareness of the fact that the natural systems of the Earth and our constructs and designs as humans must advance in sustainable ways. An appreciation of the interrelationship between natural processes and human design is a prerequisite for any adequate conception of sustainability. This hybrid concept can be summarily defined as the stewardship of natural capital for future generations, but its implications are far broader than any of these terms—embracing not only the environment and economic development, but also health care, urbanization, energy, materials, agriculture, business practices, social services and government.