According to The Environment & Sustainability, sustainable development is not achievable in the current growth model advocated by nation states Where growth is fed by limitless credit created by the ﬁnancial system. Sustainability can only succeed if there is a shift from the competing development mindset to one based on the recognition that the ﬁnite world we live in is threatened by the very model of ﬁnancial intermediation that fuels modern civilization.
“The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), in its attempt to deﬁne this term, proposes that we see the world as a system that connects both different points in space and different points in time. The idea of space helps us to understand that climate change does not recognize national boundaries, and the idea of time helps us to understand that the earth is a legacy We inherit and bequeath from generation to generation/l The IISD extends this idea of ‘systems thinking’ to the concept of sustainable development. The quality of life is a system too and it is essential to have food security, a healthy lifestyle, access to education and a secure income. Systems thinking helps us to understand our World and us. The problems we face are complex and serious and we can’t address them in the same way we created them. But we can address them. That is, the thinking that produced the problems cannot produce the solutions.”
The Environment & Sustainability was originally published as a chapter in Living Lightly, Living Faithfully: Religious Faiths and the Future of Sustainability (Faraday Institute and KLICE, 2013), edited by Colin Bell, Jonathan Chaplin, and Robert White.
About the author: Fazlun Khalid has a worldwide reputation as an indefatigable advocate of environmental protection rooted in religious traditions, and is now recognized as one of the 15 leading eco-theologians in the world. He appeared on The Independent on Sunday list of the top 100 environmentalists in the UK in 2008, and is also listed among the 500 Most Inﬂuential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre ofjordan. He was also the recipient of the Muslim News Awards for Excellence in Engineering, Science and Technology in 2004 for developing a scientiﬁc approach to Islamic environmental practice. Fazlun founded the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences which is now established as the world’s leading Islamic environmental NGO.