versión impresa ISSN 0103-4014
CAVALCANTI, Clóvis. Sustentabilidade: mantra ou escolha moral? uma abordagem ecológico-econômica. Estud. av. [online]. 2012, vol.26, n.74, pp. 35-50. ISSN 0103-4014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-40142012000100004.
What is the optimum scale of the economy compatible with nature? This question asks for consideration of the economy as a subsystem of the ecosystem. Ecological economics adopts that perspective permitting that the concept of environmental sustainability be established. This implies that the environmental impact of growth on the source and sink functions of nature be contained within limits. The usual notion of sustainability, however, gives the impression of having been transformed into a kind of today's mantra, without serious obligations. Changes in the economic system are unavoidable as a means of adaptation to the restrictions that the economic process encounters. This requires knowing what it is to be sustained and in within which time scale. The duty of choosing the changes to be made must be ascribed to society: a moral choice.
Palabras llave : Sustainability; Optimum scale of the economy; Ecological limits; Extraction-production-discarding model.