Sustainable Development and Sustainability [chapter]

Alan D. Hecht, Joseph Fiksel
2016 Encyclopedia of Soil Science, Third Edition  
While performance along social, environment and economic dimensions has gained traction in business and society, the focus has been on system continuity. Because of the different interpretations which can be attached to sustainability or sustainable development, consensus on appropriate goals of the system, whatever the system might be, may be more difficult to develop than consensus on what is not wanted -such as a system failure. System failure in this context is meant to convey a system's
more » ... onvey a system's inability to adapt to changes in the external or internal environments brought on by an event that disturbs the equilibrium of forces acting on it (the system). A failure then is linked to the interaction between the event and the characteristics which differentiate one event from the next, and the system and the characteristics which differentiate one system from the next. This paper focuses on sustainability and system continuity in terms of understanding conditions that promote system failure from the perspective of the event characteristics. It examines threats to system failure in the context of the characteristics of the event which causes the disturbance threatening system stability.
doi:10.1081/e-ess3-120047481 fatcat:uopm26a66zhbxpnq3ciavjorru