Talk:Sustainable development

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This article has multiple issues[edit]

I've added the "multiple issues" tag to the article. The most obvious problem I see is the addition of vague references to "Circles of sustainability." I've yet to find a reliable source on this concept and there appears to be a fair amount of original research that attempts to link it with various UN programmes and conventions. I'm thinking that the article should be reverted to an earlier version prior to the addition of this concept. The alternative would be to go through the article line by line and source by source. I'm in favour of the former approach as it seems much simpler. Thoughts? Sunray (talk) 01:01, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Since you have been making accusations of OR and SYNTH, would you care to state the specifics? Tim AFS (talk) 01:14, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Have you read WP:OR? Sunray (talk) 02:24, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Hello Sunray, please be more specific before you set page notifications. It is unclear what you refer to as "obvious problems", thanks. Also notice that the mentioning of various UN affords has been part of the history of sustainability and this article (and the Circles of Sustainability) before recent edits took place. Prokaryotes (talk) 03:48, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I am aware that the problems in this article go back a long way and are not even related to your recent edits. Do not remove the "multiple issues" tag, though. I have described the problem, above. I will be adding more specific tags to the article. Sunray (talk) 05:04, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Good, if you look at my edits and find something which needs discussion, please mention it here and i will try to further improve the content. It is not enough to just place a general notification on the page, you need to address the parts on a case by case basis, so that i can look at it. I acknowledge that both articles sustainability and sustainable development need further improvements. Some of the content of SD has been vandalized with false data. Further did both articles were written as if there is a conflict between a 3 domain approach or 4 domain approach. When the four domain approach is the general assumption since 1992. I could not find credible content which supports the theory that there is a conflict. See also the history section in this regards. However, i tried to avoid any definition which claims a four domain approach is the rule. It is just the most official identification of sustainable development. ( 1987 Brundtland Commission -> 1992 Agenda 21 -> 2001 Millennium Declaration and then in recent times Earth Summit (Rio+ 2012)) In this regards see also the article outline of sustainability (And the PDF linked there under the image http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/iucn_future_of_sustanability.pdf) . Prokaryotes (talk) 12:05, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I now see that you were not claiming that the three pillar and four pillar approaches are equivalent. I may have misjudged your intent. However, I saw that you moved the "Circles of Sustainability" (four pillar) graphic to the article lead. This seems out of sync with what you are saying here. Would you be able to explain? Sunray (talk) 17:32, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Isn't the image description clear enough now? Also, the depiction of the four fields are in line with the UN Agenda 21 goals and in line with the majority of scientific papers. "This broader outlook, which views sustainability challenges as arising from conflictualelements within interconnecting economic, ecological, political, and cultural domains,heavily informs the approach adopted here"[1] Prokaryotes (talk) 22:00, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
We might also need an article for "sustainability governance". And notice that the sustainability article currently only features images based on three model approach, sourced by a think tank (Cato Institute). Prokaryotes (talk) 13:12, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
The problem I see isn't whether the image description is clear or not. I can't find evidence that the "four pillars" approach has much prominence in the field of sustainability. I'm still looking into this, but so far I note that the four elements were named in UN Agenda 21, but most of what has been written about the four elements is the work of a group of consultants in Australia. I'm not seeing much academic work on this. So it comes down to a question of WP:WEIGHT. If I'm mistaken, please point me to some reliable sources. Sunray (talk) 06:18, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
The 4 pillars is part of a UN programme, http://citiesprogramme.com/archives/resource/circles-of-sustainability-urban-profile-process Btw. someone changed the section sorting, and i adjusted the domain section. prokaryotes (talk) 15:12, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes I saw that. I'm talking about WP:WEIGHT. We need to discuss sustainable development with due balance given to the various sources on the subject. Sunray (talk) 17:58, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
In fact there is academic work other than from the UN, here prokaryotes (talk) 18:08, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
I think that you are on the right track to go to Google Scholar to see what has been written about the "four pillars." However, a closer look at some of those references shows that authors often make up their own "four pillars":
  • The first reference, for example, is "The Four Pillars of Sustainable Urban Transportation." The four pillars are: "effective governance of land use and transportation; fair, efficient, stable funding; strategic infrastructure investments; and attention to neighbourhood design."
  • The second reference, "Sustainable Construction" states: "Principles of sustainable construction are developed and divided into four ‘pillars’ - social, economic, biophysical and technical."
So, you see, determining how prevalent Agenda 21's four pillars are will be more difficult. From my own knowledge of the field, I can venture to say that the four pillars of Agenda 21 are not all that prevalent compared to the three pillars and the triple bottom line. So the article is going to have to address that in order to meet WP:WEIGHT. Sunray (talk) 06:08, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Could you link me to the reference for the "triple bottom line" approach you mentioned? Generally, i have nothing against the addition of adding info about different approaches, and the current "Domains" section is clear in this regard. However, the "UN" four pillar or domain approach appears so far as the most widely and accepted approach, since it is used in UN programmes. prokaryotes (talk) 15:52, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
There are references in the Triple bottom line article. Would you please show me some references as to why you think that the four pillar approach is "the most widely and accepted approach?" The three pillars approach is pervasive in the field. Sunray (talk) 22:32, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Why the four domain or pillar approach appears to be more widely used? 1) UN uses it. 2) Article has almost nothing to offer about triple approach (add them?) and/or add context to the different approaches. Also notice the page you link states "Triple bottom line incorporates the notion of sustainability into business decisions", thus it is a specific kind of model. Hence, it belongs under the Business section. prokaryotes (talk) 18:54, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
There is one UN initiative that espoused the four pillar approach: The UN Global Compact Cities Program [1] However, the UN has, over the years, almost exclusively referred to the "three pillars" or "three dimensions" of sustainability as being social, environmental (ecological) and economic. Here are some examples:
  • General Assembly of the United Nations - Sustainable Development [2] "... sustainable development seeks to achieve, in a balanced manner, economic development, social development and environmental protection."
  • UN Economic and Social Council [3] "World leaders also recognized the key role of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in achieving a balanced integration of the three pillars of sustainable development."
  • UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs - Balancing the pillars for sustainable development [4] "... three main pillars – the economic, social and environmental pillars."
  • Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development [5] "Ten years [after the 1992 Rio Summit], the concept of three mutually reinforcing pillars of sustainable development was incorporated into the 2002 Johannesburg Plan of Implementation."
  • UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform [6]
  • UN ESCAP - Sustainable Development [7] "... moving away from conventional development paradigms based on trade-offs between the three pillars of sustainable development."
So, in keeping with WP:WEIGHT we have to show balance in the article by recognizing that the three dimensions are overwhelmingly prevalent in discussions of sustainable development. I think that I have documented some of the problems with this article, so I'm restoring the multiple issues tag. Sunray (talk) 22:28, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Sunray, you can add this information, and it isn't a multiple issue, because this part may be not enough prevalent. prokaryotes (talk) 22:43, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
In addition to the major problem of the balance that I have described, there is also a serious lack of reliable sources and a great deal of original research. I will be going through the article to tag the specific problems, but so far have had to spend a great deal of time arguing about this on this talk page. I have illustrated the problem with WP:WEIGHT and I will be documenting the rest. I would appreciate it if you would try to work with me on this. Sunray (talk) 23:10, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Engineering emerging technologies[edit]

Tim AFS once again added this section to the article. I had removed it on March 18 with the edit summary: "Removed OR: Specifically WP:SYNTH)." I don't have time to do a tutorial on WP:SYNTH, so I will just mention that the section was the subject of an RfC on the talk page of the "Sustainability" article. In that RfC Tim AFS asked the following question:

"Is it appropriate to include short sections marked as incomplete with {{expand section}} templates describing, wikilinking to, and citing appropriate sources for carbon-neutral fuel, airborne wind power, and compressed air energy storage here in the Sustainability and in the Sustainable development articles?"

The result was:

"There is a clear consensus, that the proposed sections are not appropriate for this article."

Despite the RfC and my explanation that it was WP:SYNTH, Tim AFS has seen fit to add this section to this article (albeit without the "{{expand section}}" tag). Simply put, this section is WP:SYNTH because the statement made: "Engineering of emerging technologies supports the ecological aspects of sustainable development..." is not stated by a reliable source. Rather it is Tim AFS who is making the claim and citing sources that describe these various "emerging technologies." Thus the statement is original research. I've removed the section for these reasons. I request that it not be re-added to the article except through consensus to do so on this talk page. Sunray (talk) 18:38, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

I've added Environmental technology, Environmental engineering, and Ecological engineering as "see also", which was suggested in the past RfC discussion. Prokaryotes (talk) 22:23, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry I missed this comment when looking at the #Sustainability, sustainable development, and engineering emerging technologies section several paragraphs above. The statement you say is synthesis is stated in [8] so I will replace the text citing that. Tim AFS (talk) 09:41, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't see it in the source you refer to. In fact, I see no reference to "engineering emerging technologies." Would you be able to give me the exact quote? Also, until you are able to show that the synthesis is made by a reliable source, would you please refrain from adding that section back to the article? After all, it was the subject of a Request for Comment and the consensus was that it should not be in the Sustainability article. I have explained in detail why you should not use it here in its present form. The burden of proof is on you to produce the quote that justifies the section. Sunray (talk) 22:11, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Tags[edit]

Sunray (talk) recently added a lot of tags to the page. He doesn't clearly communicate the different issues. The page recent edits should be reverted per, (over-tagging. I've suggested instead to add content deemed missing. prokaryotes (talk) 23:55, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

prokaryotes: You said that I had not justified that there were multiple issues in this article. I replied that I would go through and identify the problems. I have started to do that. Now you say that I am "overtagging" the article. Which is it? Sunray (talk) 23:59, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
There is now a ANI discussion, see you there. prokaryotes (talk) 00:06, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Please both of you, don't squabble over tags! Escalating to an ANI discussion is a backward step. Sunray says he will be clarifying his concerns. The way forward is to continue discussing those concerns here on this page. --Epipelagic (talk) 05:28, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
If you look at above edits you can see that it evolves around the topic of the a 3/4 domain/pillar approach, what Sunray has done now is without discussion to extend his critic with adding various tags to the article. prokaryotes (talk) 06:39, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I wonder if Sunray will just sit there and watch or if he plans to contribute something to the article too. prokaryotes (talk) 15:28, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
As I have said, I will be going through the article, verifying sources and editing as needed. I have begun the first step: Flagging problem areas in the article. I don't have much extra time to devote to this, so I am hoping that others will help improve the article as well. Sunray (talk) 15:34, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I think your concerns need to be addressed soon or removed and further discussed on the talk page here. Is anyone against the removal of the various unexplained taggs, by user Sunray? prokaryotes (talk) 18:44, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
I would welcome further discussion and action. As I mentioned back in April, I did not have much time to fix all the issues with this article. I have had a chance to go right through the article and identify some of its problems. So I think that the issues should be fairly clear. The major concern that I see is the lack of clarity about the three pillars approach and the reasons for the four pillar model. This is not hard to fix, but it requires some editors to take the time to explain how the Brundtlund Commission's approach developed, over successive UN Conferences, into the three pillar model. Then the section on "Culture" as the fourth pillar will make more sense.
A variety of things need to be done, IMO:
  1. Rewrite the history section to clarify how the concept of sustainable development has evolved.
  2. Rewrite the section on "Domains" to clarify the development of the three pillar approach to sustainability.
  3. Eliminate "original research" in the article.
  4. Verify all references and add new ones where needed.
I have more time to work on this now, but it would be better to have more editors working on it. Would you be willing to help? Sunray (talk) 16:07, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
I think it is good that you added direct tags to content today, this is a constructive start to pinpoint issues. However, the top tags you have added in Mai are not really helpful, because for instance im unable to replicate your concerns when you write "contains possibly original research", and "needs additional citations for verification", and "reads like an editorial or opinion piece", and " lends undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies" - unclear to me where in the article you see the problems. Also notice that specific content should be edited on the related page and then added to this article. I'm not very interested in "rewriting" the article, my main interest is to have a readable article, without to much taggs. I have not a lot of opinion of one solution or another. Since you added the tags i suggest you address them. However, if you intend to do major changes find consensus on the talk page first. prokaryotes (talk) 16:37, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
It seems that what I did wasn't clear to you. I added the "possibly contains original research" tag when I saw cases of unverified claims. For example, in the "Agriculture" section the following statement appears: "Some important elements of sustainable agriculture are permaculture, agroforestry, mixed farming, multiple cropping, and crop rotation." That statement looks like original research to me, actually a synthesis, but, assuming good faith, I just added a "citation needed" tag to the paragraph. To fix it, I would google the phrase and see what references came up and then modify the sentence to conform to sources. There is another similar case of possible OR in the Ecology section, and again, I've tagged it with a "citation needed" tag, thus justifying a section heading. The way to fix this problem is with citations. If citations cannot be found, then the paragraphs need to be re-written.
The section with the "reads like an editorial or opinion piece" has blatant examples of original research. For example, this statement: "The concept of "sustainable development" has its roots in forest management in the 12th to 16th centuries." This is a sweeping generalization that isn't properly sourced. The source given is: Sustainable Human Resource Management: A conceptual and exploratory analysis from a paradox perspective. Human resource management is an entirely different subject matter area than sustainable development. I don't have access to the source, but even if it did say that sustainable development has its roots in forest management (which I doubt), it would be a dubious claim; someone's opinion, at best. This is just one example. The whole section is riddled with unverified statements, which I've tagged. Another editor has improved the section somewhat since I first added the banner (removing another blatant case of original research), but there is much more to be done before this section would be an adequate overview of the history of sustainable development. I hope this clarifies the situation. Would you be willing to help fixing the problems in the article? Sunray (talk) 17:28, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, if you ask me it is best to add taggs directly to the parts at issue. Now you explained the top notification. In regards to the origins, a google search for "sustainable development origins" gives basically a definition of recent actions, but it doesn't seem to far fetched to look into first practices, see for instance History of sustainability. prokaryotes (talk) 23:34, 18 June 2014 (UTC)