Experts discuss the multiple components of sustainability, the constraints imposed by their linkages, and the necessity of taking a comprehensive view.
Humanity faces immense hurdles as it struggles to define the path toward a sustainable future. The multiple components of sustainability, all of which demand attention, make understanding the very concept of sustainability itself a challenge. Information about whether global agriculture can be made sustainable, for example, or calculations of the global need for water are useless unless we understand how these issues connect to each other and to other components of sustainability. In this book, experts engage in an extended dialogue concerning these linkages, arguing for a comprehensive view of sustainability. They emphasize the constraints imposed by the relationships among the components-for example, how the need for clean, easily accessible water intersects with the need for the energy required to provide it-and distinguish those constraints that may pose severe limitations on humanity's future from those of less concern. The book also highlights areas for future research and debate.
Linkages of Sustainability urges a transformation in the way we view sustainability-a transformation that is necessary if we are to plan responsibly for a more sustainable world.
Thomas Graedel is Clifton R. Musser Professor of Industrial Ecology, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Professor of Geology and Geophysics, and Director of the Center for Industrial Ecology at Yale University. He is the author of Streamlined Life-Cycle Assessment and lead author or coauthor of a number of other books. Ester van der Voet is Associate Professor of Industrial Ecology in the Institute for Environmental Sciences at the University of Leiden. She is the coeditor of Heavy Metals: A Problem Solved?.