Authors: Sari Haj Hussein
People of various interests talk about Sustainable Development (SD) and in their talks they understand SD very differently. A lexicographer for example may define SD according to Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary as "the use of natural products and energy in a way that does not harm the environment". While a passer-by may happily dub her society as sustainable if it is providing her with her life needs while considering the needs of generations to come over a very long time. To take it to an extreme edge, the philosopher Luc Ferry  defines SD by saying: "I know that this term is obligatory, but I find it also absurd, or rather so vague that it says nothing!". In this paper we try to define and measure SD in Scandinavian countries using a novel mathematical approach. We rely on a non-concrete model for this purpose; namely the SAFE model, which is based on concepts derived from fuzzy logic. It is widely believed that the application of fuzzy logic brings powerful reasoning abilities in disciplines where concrete mathematical models do not exist; and SD is one such discipline. In fact, fuzzy logic is an outstanding tool for mimicking human thinking and foresight. Based on the SAFE model, we give a careful assessments of sustainability in each of the Scandinavian countries. We also undergo a trend monitoring combined with a sensitivity analysis in order to stand on the most important sustainability factors in each of these countries.
Comments: 10 Pages. Appeared in the 5th International Conference on Engineering Education in Sustainable Development (EESD 2010), Gothenburg, Sweden
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