Where should Sustainable Development begin first?

Beginning of Sustainable Development in the West

Development is often discussed in relation to developing countries but in fact, it is a concept which relates to all parts of the world at every level, from individual to global tranfromations (Potter etal., 1999) Development is something to which we all aspire. Ideas about the best means by which to achieve our aspiration and needs are potentially as old as the human civilization.

World Map
World Map

Here are are a couple questions that we need to ask ourselves. I did it and answered them all. Now it is your turn to answer.

Why are we always talking about the developing countries in terms of sustainable Development?

Sustainable development is not just a concept for developing nations, it is majorly derived for the developed nations because people in the west have the strength, money and power to afford the kind of lifestyle that requires heavy intensive use of energy.

Developing nations are constantly imitating the west. Why exactly are we so worried about people in the developing world regarding their use of resource? Are we scared that in their process of imitating the west, they would start utilizing the same amount of resources that the west uses? That is a scary thought indeed!

25% of the population of the world has used up more than 50% of the energy resources of the planet. That is definitely something to worry about.

Who should be paying for the loss of resources?


Isn’t it true that people in the west utilize maximum amount of resources available on the planet to achieve the kind of lifestyle we have today?

Yes, it is true. The new technologies, the new techno lifestyle; every damn thing that makes use of energy has been invented by the West. This technology is then passed on to the people in the developing nations.

This is something that should be thought upon seriously. What exactly are we doing? Why are we so stuck with our short term perspective of enjoying life and destroying the world? It feels as if it is some sort of a mission statement.

What are we doing for our future generations? Without oil and other non renewable energy resources, we would have to revert back to the Stone Age times.

So, who is the real culprit but still stand a chance to be role models?

The answer is obviously “the developed nations”. Everything from the west is being copied in the developing nations all over the world. Culture, lifestyle, technology etc is continuously being transferred from the developed nations to the developing nations.

Societies that consider themselves getting modern in the eastern countries are actually attempting to copy the west. Everything that happens in the west fascinates them. This is termed as “Modernisation theory”.

How are we going to work towards spreading the concept of Sustainable Development?

“MINDSET” is a golden keyword here. Everything changes with the change in mindsets. By changing the way people live in the developed nations can gradually have an amazing impact on the developing nations. If we can focus on what is really around us that seriously needs to be worked on instead of worrying about the development in developing nations; that would be our first step towards thinking about  the concept of Sustainable Development.

For example: Let us begin with taking up “Urban Challenge”

We need to create an example of the eco-development in the West which will be eventually imitated by the developing countries in different continents. So, that is one time chance to become “Role Models for the developing world”.

All sorts of revolutions in the past have happened in the West.

How about “Sustainable Development revolution”?

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