Journal of Accounting and Management JAM vol. 5, no. 3(2015)

An essay on sustainable development moral

Florian Marcel NUŢĂ1

First I want to be clear from the beginning that I am against the irrational use of natural resources, pollution and killing the wild animals beyond the need of surviving. It is obvious that our world, our civilization consumes and destroys faster than the planet’s capacity of regeneration. It also pretty clear that the technological and economic progress reached using all the destructive means is not capable to overcome the danger created by us and the imminence of final days for the Earth we see today.

Maybe we can see the sustainable development as a matter of economic tolerance. Meaning that we can in a conscientious manner to give up a part of our economic benefits in the environment favor without asking some reward for it.


Isn’t it irrational to ask poor and starving populations to stop using their natural resources because it is against the sustainable development’s principles? Isn’t it immoral to ask 3rd world country people to stop killing wild beasts because they are endangered and at the same time to buy furs and animal extracts for cosmetics? Isn’t it immoral to ask poor populations to be environmentally responsible and the same time to use about 500 liters per day per capita?

In fact it is. It is immoral to ask from others to not use the means and the tools you used for your own progress decades ago only because you discovered the means and the tools you used destroyed the nature and made hundreds of species extinct. It is quite difficult to accept such a policy. It is hard because everybody would say: “It is easy for you to say that NOW!” It is easy because you have all the needs addressed and you reached the level of welfare that permits you to be environmental aware (even if not fully responsible…).

There is always an issue to open a mining facility in a poor country. Actually there are two issues… The first is related to the need of employment and economic welfare for the local community. The second is related to the environmental and health hazards such a facility brings. Moreover most of the time the investment capital is coming from a “responsible”, civilized and developed country. Basically the pollution is exported and all the unsustainable industrial processes are relocated from a developed country to a poor or at least developing one. And then they call it environmental responsibility and sustainable development… Again, it is easy to be sustainable and environmental friendly when you are exporting all your harmful industrial technologies elsewhere. Easy but not moral…

We are all seeking for new and environmental friendly energy sources. Many consider the nuclear power to be less harmful for the environment, and they are maybe right if you are thinking to the greenhouse emission (mainly the CO2). But how irrational is to use this kind of energy source and then pay another country (less developed) to deposit your nuclear plant’s waste? Moreover claiming that you embrace the alternative and more environmental friendly energy production…

We are always excited by exotic places. We need sometimes to escape the urban, hi-tech, hi-stress and concrete environment. It is nice to discover authentic, rural, even archaic places and communities. We spend our vacation there, we breath clean air, drink clean water and eat bio food. And then go back to our WiFi internet, PCs, smart phones, diesel vehicles, etc. The people living in those communities remain. Is it moral to ask from them to have no WiFi, no highly toxic hygiene products and eat vegetables only according to the natural season cycles? Is it fair to ask them to travel by horse or pedestrian only not damage our vacation air or water? Or do they have the same rights of modern technology convenience as we do? They also need a fast way of getting health and education services. They need to develop and to progress. Even this means to alter the natural, charming, archaic place we like to spend our vacation…

I believe that, for now, finding a way of compromise between progress and environment is a dead end. And I think that is a dead end because we did not really seek a solution. We are only political correct or hungry. We have not even reached the progress to be able to be really environmental friendly for real. We have only reached the progress that permits us to ask from others to be… We are just selfish by nature. We don’t care for other’s needs as we don’t care for nature’s needs. We simply care for our four walls that surround us. This simple is our perspective on world, people or nature… We have only reached the economic progress and the social welfare but our behavior and conscience is way back. Our awareness regarding the planet’s issue is asleep and suffocated by the modern world convenience.

1 Assoc. Professor PhD, Danubius University from Galati, Romania,