Many sustainable indicators have been developed to assess performances of systems at all scales. However, a careful testing is needed to determine if these indicators are actually coherent with the study assumptions and real case sustainability. Firstly, we reviewed the evolutionary history of the sustainable indicators in both socio-economic and thermodynamic perspectives. Then we analyzed the contribution of several key indicators to the sustainable performance of nations with a critical eye. Results show that: 1) EmSI (Emergy Sustainability Index) is negatively correlated with EF-BC (Total Ecological Footprint-Total Biocapacity); 2) A country with a good economy in terms of monetary indicators tends to have a low EmSI as well as a relatively high EF (Ecological Footprint); 3) A country with a relatively high R% (indigenous renewable fraction of emergy use) would possibly have relatively low HDI (Human Development Index), GSI (Genuine Savings Index), and EF. After analyzing the essence of these indicators, we concluded that clearly the use of nonrenewable resources (minerals, fossil energy, topsoil, forestry and fishery extraction) speeds up the wealth and welfare of a country and, at the present rates of withdrawal, undermines its long-term sustainability. Priority focus should be given to preservation of natural environment rather than resource appropriation by a minority of the human being. Indicators capable to highlight such aspects should be developed and used in policy. The apparent inconsistency of EmSI with other indicators stems from their different environmental ethics, placed on ecocentrism rather than anthropocentrism.
|Titolo:||Comparing national environmental and economic performances through emergy sustainability indicators: Moving environmental ethics beyond anthropocentrism toward ecocentrism|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|