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Sustainability: A Review

A reaction Darwish Al Gobaisis Part I: Basic Concepts of Sustainability

By Noah Dominic M. Silvio


Many authors Ive read who advocate for a more sustainable system have had the opinion that our current
state of development is not self-destructive. Al Gobaisi is of no exception. Additionally, he believes that
sustainable development does not mean development that is sustainable. Instead, it means that such
development sustains society and sustains the natural resources around us. This view by Al Gobasi is
unfamiliar to me as I have been hearing about how sustainability requires development to continue
indefinitely, not have development sustain society. Nonetheless, Im ready to accept any ideas that aims
to inspire sustainable development.
With targeting the core mechanisms of sustainability in his mind, Al Gobaisi explores human prehistory, history, economic progress, social structure, and environmental models with concrete data (i.e.
tables, graphs, factual information, dates, imagery, etc.) He attempted to make the readers understand
exactly how the simple structural model of mankind became the complex and interconnected mess that it
is today, and while this is surely an interesting and insightful read, I believe that this level of deep
understanding is quite unnecessary in achieving sustainability. His exploration leads me to the same
conclusion where most advocates of sustainable development already have: there must be an equilibrium
in the interconnected sectors of society; proper usage of natural resources results to a higher income which
results to a happier population which results to a more qualified workforce which results in a proper
management of resources.
Today, the state of our world is far worse than it was when this book was published. International
tensions are rising. The environment is more damaged now than the past century. Population is
increasing. And resources are depleting. We, as a whole, still havent taken action to fight this obvious
path to the limits of our planets growth. Al Gobaisi mentioned that the longer we wait, the more difficult
this problem would be to solve.
I would be a hypocrite if I say I would have acted in the past. In truth, not only was I oblivious to
the alarming circumstances of our world, I also refused to read anything about it. Maybe the first step
towards sustainability is to educate and make the population aware of how we can help make our planet
more livable in this generation and the next ones to come.

Reference :
Gobaisi, A. D. (2004). Part I: BASIC CONCEPTS OF SUSTAINABILITY. In A. D. Gobaisi, Integrated
Power and Desalination Plants (pp. 551 604).