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In: Resources, environment, and population: present knowledge, future options, edited by Kingsley Davis and Mikhail S. Bernstam. New York, New York/Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, 1991. 25-43. (Population and Development Review. Vol. 16. Supplement)Sustainable development is a relatively new economic term in the common vocabulary. Above all it is important to realize the critical difference between growth and development. In the past growth has been viewed as the ideal and as such all our economic measuring systems are based upon it. However, measuring the circular flow of exchange value makes it impossible to take into account the effect upon the environment that growth has. This old method was suitable in the past because of a misperception that growth is unlimited. A better way of measuring economics is to examine the entropic throughout of matter/energy. This system of measurement is consistent with the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics and consistent with the fact that we live in a finte world with finite resources. Thus, the old system only measures the scale but not the allocation of resources and per capita consumption. While the independence of allocation from distribution is widely known, the independence of allocation from scale is not. No matter how large the population or per capita consumption rate, an optimal allocation will be found for every scale. Yet measuring scale is of critical importance. If a ship is overloaded, it does not matter how evenly distributed the load is, it will sink. Some method must be devised and implemented which will keep economic scale within the limits of ecological carrying capacity. Achieving sustainable development will require some rethinking and a change of priority. Thus, qualitative improvement could be labeled development, and quantitative improvements could be labeled growth. Thus a steady state economy could continue to develop without growing. This is how planet Earth operates and economics is just another open system that must be allowed to develop without growing.
In: Ghosh PK, ed. Health, food and nutrition in Third World development. Westport, Connecticut, Greenwood Press, 1984. 61-76. (International Development Resource Books No. 6)Chronic malnutrition, in contrast to famine, is a grossly neglected but very serious problem in developing countries. Efforts must be made to acquaint authorities with the seriousness of the problems, to identify the causes of chronic malnutrition, and to develop effective programs to deal with the problem. Chronic undernourishment or subtle hunger receives little attention because 1) nutrition is a relatively new science; 2) those most seriously malnourished, i.e., poor women and children, have little power or influence; and 3) politicians are more likely to support programs with highly visible results, and the results of improving nutrition are subtle and not always immediately detectable. Attention should be directed to the problem by conducting epidemiological studies to demostrate that the growth and development of children is highly dependent on good nutrition. Indices for measuring growth and development are available and studies could be designed to show how these indices vary by social class or by geographical region. Other studies could demostrate how morbidity and mortality rates for nutrition related diseases can be reduced by improving nutrition. Weak points in the food chain which contribute to the problems of chronic malnutrition are delineated and include such factors as low agricultural production, deficient transportation systems, and the low food purchasing power of large segments of the population. Governments should be encouraged to develop national food policies, and the ministries of agriculture, health, education, and social welfare should be encouraged to play a role in combating chronic malnutrition. The protein deficit crisis in developing countries can be averted by 1) increasing the production of animal proteins, fish and marine resources, and food crops, especially protein-rich crops; 2) expanding research programs to improve the protein quality of cereals, to increase the yield of forage crops, and to develop new protein sources; 3) reducing the unnecessary loss of food by improving storage, transport, and processing procedures; 4) promoting the use of formulated protein foods and educating the public about protein production and consumption; 5) developing programs to improve the protein intake of the most disadvantaged segments of the population and to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases which prevent the full utilization of protein by the body; and 6) promoting training in agriculture, food science, and nutrition. A reduction in population growth and an increase in economic growth would also contribute toward a decline in chronic malnutrition.