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Publication Title | NANOTECHNOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABILITY: ENVIRONMENT, WATER, FOOD, MINERALS, AND CLIMATE

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CHAPTER 5

NANOTECHNOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABILITY: ENVIRONMENT, WATER, FOOD, MINERALS, AND CLIMATE

Mamadou Diallo, C. Jeffrey Brinker26

With contributions from: André Nel, Mark Shannon, Nora Savage, Norman Scott, James Murday

The global sustainability challenges facing the world are complex and involve multiple interdependent areas. Chapter 5 focuses on sustainable nanotechnology solutions for a clean environment, water resources, food supply, mineral resources, green manufacturing,

habitat, transportation, climate change,

nanotechnology-based energy solutions in terms of their interdependence with other sustainability target areas such as water, habitat, transportation, and climate change. Chapter 6 is dedicated to energy resources.

5.1 VISION FOR THE NEXT DECADE

Changes in the Vision over the Last Ten Years

Brundtland’s Commission placed sustainability at the intersection of social, economic, and environmental factors (Figure 5.1) where, “sustainable development is that which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland 1987, http://www.un-documents.net/ocf-02.htm). Sustainability entails considerations of people, the environment, and the economy. To achieve sustainability, it is vital to take into account the complex linkages between the “social system” (i.e., the institutions that support human existence on Earth), the “global system” (i.e., the Earth’s ecosystems that support human life) and the “human system” (i.e., all the other factors that impact the health and well being of humans) (Rapport 2007). Every human being needs food, water, energy, shelter, clothing, healthcare, employment, etc., to live and prosper on Earth. One of the greatest challenges facing the world in the 21st century is providing better living conditions to people while minimizing the impact of human activities on Earth’s ecosystems and global environment.

In 2000, the nanotechnology research agenda was primarily focused on the discovery, characterization, and modeling of nanoscale materials and phenomena. As nanotechnology continues to advance, the agenda is increasingly focused on addressing two key questions related to sustainability over the next 10 years:

• How can nanotechnology help address the challenges of improving global sustainability?

• Can nanotechnology be developed in a sustainable manner?

26For the institutional affiliations of authors, please see Appendix B, List of Participants and Contributors.

and biodiversity. It

also discusses

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