Journal Article
Addressing the Crisis in Employment and Consumer Demand: Reconciliation with Financial and Environmental Sustainability

For a long time, the earlier sustainability literature focused almost exclusively on environmental sustainability, which included resource exhaustion, toxic pollution, ecosystem destruction, and global climate disruption. The sources of environmental problems were acknowledged to stem from industrialization and the everincreasing consumption of materials and energy. Some attention surfaced on environmental justice, reflecting the disparate effects of environmental deterioration on poor people and poor nations. Recently, concerns with environmental sustainability have become dominated by global climate change, almost to the exclusion of other environmental concerns. While concerns about poverty and earning capacity were raised now and then, it was only after the 2008 financial crisis that employment and the earning capacity of people were catapulted into the center stage of political discourse. Part of this discourse has focused on the relationship between employment and consumption, where the tension between providing jobs and decreasing the environmental footprint of industrialized and industrializing states was acknowledged. This relationship has historically focused on increasing production and consumption with insufficient or little regard to their effects on the environment, and energy and resource limits.

Title
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsAshford N, Hall RP, Ashford R
JournalThe European Financial Review
Pagination63-68
Date Published10/2012
Abstract

For a long time, the earlier sustainability literature focused almost exclusively on environmental sustainability, which included resource exhaustion, toxic pollution, ecosystem destruction, and global climate disruption. The sources of environmental problems were acknowledged to stem from industrialization and the everincreasing consumption of materials and energy. Some attention surfaced on environmental justice, reflecting the disparate effects of environmental deterioration on poor people and poor nations. Recently, concerns with environmental sustainability have become dominated by global climate change, almost to the exclusion of other environmental concerns. While concerns about poverty and earning capacity were raised now and then, it was only after the 2008 financial crisis that employment and the earning capacity of people were catapulted into the center stage of political discourse. Part of this discourse has focused on the relationship between employment and consumption, where the tension between providing jobs and decreasing the environmental footprint of industrialized and industrializing states was acknowledged. This relationship has historically focused on increasing production and consumption with insufficient or little regard to their effects on the environment, and energy and resource limits.

URLhttps://ashford.mit.edu/sites/default/files/documents/G85.%20TEFR%20OctNov2012_Addressing%20the%20Employment%20Crisis%20%26%20Reconciliation%20with%20Environmental%20and%20Financial%20Sustainability.pdf