Most of today's decision makers will be dead before the planet suffers the full consequences of acid rain, global warning, ozone depletion, widespread desertification, and species loss. Most of today's young voters, however, will be alive.
In this, perhaps the most important document of the decade on the future of the world, the urgency of changing certain policy decisions, some of which threaten the very survival of the human race, is made abundantly clear.
The World Commission on Environment and Development, headed by Gro Harlem Brundtland, Prime Minister of Norway, was set up as an independent body in 1983 by the United Nations. Its brief was to re-examine the critical environment, to develop proposals to solve them, and to ensure that human progress will be sustained through development without bankrupting the resources of future generations.
In Our Common Future, the Commission serves notice that the time has come for a marriage of economy and ecology, so that governments and their people can take responsibility not just for environmental damage, but for the policies that cause the damage. It is not too late to change these policies; but, it warns, we must act now.