What Is True Sustainability?

November 8, 2010 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Matt Stein for this OpEd.

Every day we hear about topics like sustainable growth and sustainable building, but what does it really mean to be “sustainable?” In broad terms, sustainability quite clearly means that each new year finds the earth in at least as good of a condition as the last one. No increasing degree of deforestation, no fewer fish in the ocean, no higher levels of toxic pollution, and the concentration of atmospheric pollutants the same or better the next year as it was the prior one. Classically, many native American tribes had a high respect for the sustainability of the world, making collective decisions about whether or not to continue a particular course of action based upon if it would have a negative effect seven generations into the future.

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