chapter  1
25 Pages

Approaching local sustainability

In recent years the issue of environmental change has become a key area of debate. There is a widespread concern that the consequences of industrialisation are increasingly negative and that action needs to be taken to remedy this. Although there is no absolute consensus that major environmental changes are occurring (see, for example, the formidable pressures brought to bear on the US President in the run up to the Kyoto climate change summit in 1997 by representatives of the automobile, steel and oil industries), there is a broad agreement that these changes are in train and that some form of response is needed. As Dryzek states:

Today, any credible political-economic vision must address the challenge presented by ecological problems. ‘The environment’ can no longer be thought of as just one issue among many. Ecological problems are sufficiently widespread and serious to constitute an acid test for all actual and proposed political and economic arrangements, be they incremental or revolutionary.