Robin Harrison, Binna Burra

Around here it can often feel like we’re in a battle for or against development and if we’re to progress that needs to be resolved.

All in all, I’m in favour of development. Despite often serious environmental and social damage, on balance society has prospered from our inevitable development, and we’ve come to understand the need for a healthy environment. With our current range of development options the best that can be achieved is a little less unsustainable, a little less damaging. We do not have any sustainable development models.

How prosperous could development be if it went far beyond ‘less damaging’ or even just ‘sustainable’ and became environmentally and socially beneficial?

How economically smart would it be to have development models that deliberately nurtured both the earth and society? Particularly if that choice in the development marketplace were more attractive, affordable and prosperous?

Collectively we know how to do this. Particularly in this region where there’s been over 50 years of experimentation and practical research individually and in groups, who documented the journey that is now being taught in the mainstream.

The economic potential is already becoming evident in the energy sector where people like Wang Chuanfu, Elon Musk, Sandeep Gupta etc are probably part of our future economic elite because they understand that cleaner power generation is already cheaper than fossil-fuel generation and when it’s installed the energy is basically free. Nothing can compete with free. The same is true of all sustainable practice; nurturing the earth and society can be massively less costly than our current non-nurturing ways and the resultant abundance is a basically free huge bonus.

We have all the information we need to create sustainable development models for the global mass market in the 21st century. It could be a rapidly growing economic, social and environmental repair kit.

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