Environment, society, economy
This simple diagram neatly captures how sustainability has changed the way we view the interaction between the environment, society and the economy. On the right is the old 'Mickey Mouse' model showing the economy as most important with society and the environment as separate, minor, side issues. The new 'bullseye' model on the left reveals an understanding that our society is wholly dependent on the environment and that our economy is wholly dependent on our society. Rather than seeing the environment and society as a luxury issue that only the rich can afford to concern themselves with, they are a vital basis which must be maintained in order to achieve a healthy economy. You cannot sacrifice the environment for the economy - it is simply not possible. By destroying the environment, you destroy the society and the economy.Economy and ecology have the same Greek root - oikos, meaning house.