The Trouble with Sustainability

By Norman Wirzba
Sustainability 15(2)
January 11, 2023

The term “sustainability” and the conceptual framing that it provides for society must be substantially refined and clarified, if not outright replaced, if the interconnected social and ecological goals the concept is meant to espouse are to heal the world, our home. Sustainability has become a status quo concept held captive to market logics that quantify and appropriate places and creatures alike, rendering them but commodities without intrinsic value, thereby failing to inspire the love that is crucial for the nurture and care of a world wounded by us. Drawing on insights from indigenous and spiritual traditions, this essay makes several recommendations for better ways of speaking, thinking, and acting.

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