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Sustainability, Ethics and War

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Uploaded on Jan 30, 2012

What is now meant by sustainability has outgrown the isolation of environmental from social and cultural systems. Resistance to the changes required for sustainability, however, has been associated not with technological insufficiency, but with ethical incapacity. We know what needs to be done, why and even how, but we don't choose to do it (Suzuki, 2009).

We continue to be, as Raymond Blaine Fosdick put it in 1928, "the old savage in the new civilization." In the absence of deliberate moral and ethical development, on a global scale, that can manage both the consequences and possibilities of our technology, whatever efforts are made toward sustainability will inevitably provoke a violent response that instead does more damage than good.

Sustainability requires an ethic of engagement at personal and social levels as a practical response to the conflicts that inevitably will occur in the battlespaces of the 21st century. This paper will offer foundational steps toward such an ethic, reconceiving and extending the idea of "the responsibility to protect."
(By: Dr. Peter H. Denton: Instructor, Mechanical, Manufacturing and Communications Department, Red River College of Applied Arts, Science and Technology)

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