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Numeracy and sustainability

Keywords: Sustainability , Numeracy , Eco-ethics , Sustainability ethics , Sustainable development

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Abstract:

Sustainable use of the planet is based on the assumption that humankind can maintain conditions suitable for inhabiting the planet indefinitely. No robust evidence supports this assumption nor rejects it, and adequate evidence on this issue may not be available for centuries. Numeracy is the ability to use or understand numerical techniques of mathematics. Even if adequate numerical data were available, the important decisions humankind makes regarding sustainable use of the planet should not be guided by numerical information alone, such as economic numbers, but by eco- and sustainability ethics, which provides a values framework that indicates how the numbers should be used and interpreted.

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