A holistic approach to sustainability based on pluralism stewardship

Environmental Ethics 21 (1):23-42 (1999)
Abstract
In this paper, we advance a holistic ecological approach based on a three-compartment model. This approach favors policy initiatives that lie at the intersection of the three major areas of concern common to most environmental controversies: environmental protection, provision of basic human needs, and advancing economic welfare. In support of this approach, we propose a “pluralistic stewardship”integrating core elements of anthropocentrism, biocentrism, and ecocentrism. After presenting the basics of our model, we then explain why it is important to identify and promote a holistic ecological approach to sustainability. Here we employ the economic concept of path dependence, emphasizing that there exist multiple paths society can follow in environmental ethics and policy but once one has been chosen, implicitly or explicitly, there may be little opportunity to reverse such choices
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