The focus of conventional development policies and production, consumption, and trade patterns on the improvement of the social and economic conditions of individuals, societies, and nations has causal relationships with environmental maladies such as depletion or degradation of natural resources, destruction of the ecosystem, creation of heat islands, pollution, and increasing large-scale climate change. Within the context of available technology, capital, and culture (including dietary habit), man's current lifestyles emphasizes optimal utilization and, in many places, an exploitation of Earth's resources for the creation of wealth and an enhancement of social and economic conditions. The resultant effect is now feasible not only in precarious environmental conditions but also in the declining quality of life and economic fortunes that humankind sought to improve in the first ...

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