Like many other people I have been quoting the Bruntland Report definition of SD for years. When I looked up the original I was amazed to find that the popular version is incomplete. What the commission actually said was:
"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:
NEEDs - in particular the essential needs of the poor, which require over-riding priority,
LIMITATIONS - imposed by the environment's ability to meet present and future needs."
We over consummers are right to focus on the limitations but we need to remember that for two thirds of the worlds population it is meeting current needs that are more urgent (note I did not say more important!)
How can we help people to feel sufficient empathy with the truly poor to redirect resources to meeting their needs rather than our greed?