Konrad Ott makes details four aspects of sustainability that are essential to any deeper understandings of it: history, ethics, concepts, politics. More than 300 years ago, Hans Carl Carlowitz argued that current generations should not live at the expense of future ones, in the context of deforestation in Germany. This idea encapsulated in the Brundtland Report with the idea that all human beings should fulfill their basic needs while living within the planetary boundaries. Sustainability is an ethical concept because it deals with obligation that should be reached or avoided; sustainability ethics draw from two sources of normativity, one of distributive justice and one of environmental ethics. The conceptual problems within sustainability are economic. It is widely accepted that natural capital is a stock that yields different flows, by which humans are benefited in many different ways. There is a divide between weak and strong sustainability in terms of the substitutability of nature. In terms of politics, it is clearly a step forward that we now have a Sustainable Development Goal with respect to oceans, marine systems, and coastlines.
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