What Is My Definition of Sustainability?

I was asked the question recently and quite honestly I choked. Not because I don't know what it is or how to define it, but because I like bits and pieces of so many different definitions and I attempted to reconstruct my definition on the spot. So to answer the question more formerly rather than in the middle of a heated discourse, I present to
you all -> the components of my idea of sustainability.

At first I liked the following:

Sustainability (as defined by first by the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987 and just recently adopted by the City of Seatle) -

"meeting the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

This definition seems to confirm the foundational idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology upon the environments ability to meet both present and future needs.

But as many people have pointed out, we choose the wrong word to build a
movement about. Or did we? Well maybe. Its debatable but here's the thing...
Take into account the movements current momentum, and I feel that
if all we want is sustainability were not aiming high enough.

The best way I can depict this is to relay an old analogy I have heard
over and over again over the years (so its impossible to give
credit where credit is due). It goes like this:

What about a marriage or long term relationship.... if all you want for
that is to be 'sustainable', many feel something is wrong with your
outlook (and your significant other will probably agree [I polled my
wife to confirm this and she agreed]) !!

So based on that analogy, we need a new word. Now people say "Beyond
Sustainability" a lot, and call 2 conferences in 2 years that also. But if 98% of the
universe cant even spell the word, should we build upon the term or deconstruct, put it aside
and aim towards a better term?

more later.... . . . . .

No comments: