Policy ForumENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT

Pursuit of the common good

Science  19 Sep 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6203, pp. 1457-1458
DOI: 10.1126/science.1259406

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Summary

Humanity is at a crossroads. Do we continue trends of preceding decades that lift people out of poverty and extend life spans, but in the process run down the planet's natural capital? Solutions to this profound problem will require greater cooperation among people. The rise of market fundamentalism and the drive for growth in profits and gross domestic product (GDP) have encouraged behavior that is at odds with pursuit of the common good. Finding ways to develop a sustainable relationship with nature requires not only engagement of scientists and political leaders, but also moral leadership that religious institutions are in a position to offer.