Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 13, No 3 (2017)

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From 'Sustainable Development' to 'Ecological Civilization': Winning the War for Survival

Arran Gare


The central place accorded the notion of ‘sustainable development' among those attempting to overcome ecological problems could be one of the main reasons for their failure. ‘Ecological civilization' is proposed and defended as an alternative. ‘Ecological civilization' has behind it a significant proportion of the leadership of China who would be empowered if this notion were taken up in the West. It carries with it the potential to fundamentally rethink the basic goals of life and to provide an alternative image of the future. It could both inspire people and provide the cultural foundations for the cultural, social and economic transformations necessary to create a new world order, a world order in which humans augment rather than undermine the ecosystems of which they are part. This paper explicates these implications.

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