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Judaism and the modern concept of sustainability
Wolff, A. 2004.  BH 14:107-112. CELD ID 21507

The growing awareness of the negative effects of modern technological development has generated interest un "sustainability." Sustainability can be defined as ensuring that human actions do not jeopardize the long-term availability and quality of environmental resources. Is there a uniquely Jewish perspective on the sustainability discourse? On the one had, environmental protection is an important aspect-albeit sometimes overlooked-of Jewish observance. Jewish law helps create a sustainable society by balancing environmental considerations with the economic and social needs of society, both in the long and short terms. Development is encouraged, but regulated by Jewish law in a way that attempts to maximize protection of the environment and conserve resources. On the other hand, the principle of preserving the environment at all costs is at odds with Jewish belief, which does not view this world as being eternal, and which places supreme value on the immediate preservation of human life, even at the cost of what we call sustainability.