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Indicators Of Development Essay

1031 words - 4 pages

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines development as the act or process of growing or causing something to grow larger or more advanced. We live in a world that is continuously developing, in ways that we cannot even begin to try to describe. Nonetheless, The World Bank measures indicators of development. To do this, they look at three-hundred and thirty-one different indicators which cover a vast number of areas, including agriculture, aid effectiveness, climate change, economic policy, education, energy and mining, environment, the financial sector, poverty, science and technology, social development, and urban development. The World Bank’s World Development Indicators data is has been used for over fifty years as the standard by which development is measured. While this list may seem like a comprehensive, all-inclusive list, it does not consider the idea of sustainable development. While development for the sake of advancement may seem like a good option for an undeveloped country, it can be argued that development that is not sustainable is not development at all, but merely the illusion of one.
According to the International Institute for Sustainable Development, sustainable development is defined as development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. If we follow this definition, it becomes easy to see that the vast majority of the “developed” world has not, and is not developing sustainably. The idea of sustainable development requires us to consider how our action of developing will affect other countries, and future generations. Many people believe in “the butterfly effect”, where the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in one part of the world can cause a typhoon somewhere else in the world. If we believe this, what effect will our polluting the air with toxic chemicals, stripping the land and ground of its resources, or dredging the oceans have somewhere else? Our decisions to use pesticides, burn oil, and abuse our resources may allow us to continue to grow and develop for now, but they will not help future generations meet their own needs.
Although we have many highly developed countries in our world, not one of them has reached sustainable development. Our problem of continuing to grow unsustainably is one that we all share, and one that we all must work together to solve. Within our societies, there is an ongoing debate on how our governments should contribute to supporting sustainable development. Fiscal conservatives believe that we should allow the market to take care of this problem. People in our societies should become more educated on the harmful effects of unsustainable development, and stop buying and promoting the products and companies that endorse it. More liberal-minded political scientists and economists believe that the role of government in this situation should be to help their citizens make more sustainable choices by setting...

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