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Discussion > SUSTAINABILITY What does it mean?

Humanity has been doing exactly that forever.
Each age has done something that actively contributed to the improved well-being of the next, whether it was the discovery of fire or the invention of the wheel or the axe or the bow and arrow or writing or printing or electricity or radio or the telephone or the horse and cart or whatever.
The present "age" has seen the development of printing and vast improvements in that sphere to the extent that I can turn out a full-scale broadsheet newspaper print ready from what I'm typing this on and virtually every human development of the last 1000 years has eventually resulted in the more efficient use of the earth's resources and/or vastly improved ways of extracting more of those resources where needed or their replacement with different resources whiuch in most cases do the job better.
(The replacement of film cameras by digital cameras is an excellent example.)
So Brundtland and her cronies are talking total codswallop. And they know it because in their interpretation of sustainability the key phrase is "without compromising the ability of future generations" and when you say that you are implying very strongly that somebody (well, guess who!!) has to make the decisions — probably the wrong ones — about what may or may not compromise the ability of future generations and having made that decision it needs to be enforced by somebody (well, guess who!!).
And with apologies to M Courtney and esmiff it is not a coincidence that Brundtland is a socialist because one of the main qualifications you need to be a True Socialist is an inherent belief that you know better than the sheeple, which is to say everyone to whom the faith of True Socialism has not been revealed, and their opinions, views and beliefs count for damn all because ... well, because they're sheeple.
Trebles all round!

Nov 7, 2015 at 4:49 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

"Sustainability", like "climate change" means just what its promoters need it to mean when they use it.
The main goal of both is to empower social parasites to sustain nice lifestyles with other people's money.

Nov 7, 2015 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

It's called the Humpty Dumpty Gambit, as in

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."
Through The Looking-Glass , Lewis Carroll

Nov 7, 2015 at 7:41 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Hunter I respectfully suggest that you are missing the point mate.

Firstly we can not change the UN definition and it WILL be the definition used by governments in the utterly shambolic EU.
Secondly if we accept their definition we are stuffed.

We need to protest and show just how dumb a definition it really is.

Nov 7, 2015 at 10:11 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung, I think I agree with you about the UN definition of "sustainability".

But for Discussion, let's look at the opportunity here.
You can fool some of the people some of the time etc. But not all.
If "sustainability" becomes a meaningless term to the electorate then a lot of Green hyperbole would be defeated.

In chess this tactic is called "overloading".

Nov 7, 2015 at 11:18 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

M Courtney

The huge problem here is that to the electorate and even to most BH readers the word sustainability is acceptable because of its previous, entirely common sense meaning and thus it goes largely unnoticed.

Nov 8, 2015 at 12:11 PM | Registered CommenterDung

The EU and the UN have been malevolently clever in hiding their true intentions under a heap of admirable aims and ambitions.
Protecting future generations from resource shortages (by hamstringing today's economies).
Biodiversity, maintaining animal and plant habitats (by prohibiting humans from intruding).
Saving the planet by restricting fossil fuel use (even though in fact releasing CO2 into the atmosphere is what is needed to save the human race)

Nov 8, 2015 at 12:28 PM | Registered CommenterDung


I have requested my wife to put in any obituary notice in the press, "it turned out that he was not sustainable".

Nov 8, 2015 at 10:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

Even in the old sense of the world many practices which seem unstainable turns out to pretty harmless.
We take out product X at rate, but then tech and habits change and people move on to product Y, and in time same to product Z
Leaving plenty of product X, Y for future generations

even with oil it's pretty sure that we'll move on to another enrgy source before we run out.
There is the problem of industrial accidents and pollution, but that's just a question of having proper laws and enforcing them.

Nov 11, 2015 at 2:22 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The green movement has BOTH types of people ..the corrupt & the extremely naive.

I observed it myself the other night when I was a Green org meeting.

Nov 11, 2015 at 2:24 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen


I agree with what you say mate and that is why it is a bit sinister when the UN change their own definition without explaining this at all.People are comfortable with the old definition and just do not understand what is being done to them.

Nov 11, 2015 at 4:53 PM | Registered CommenterDung

NEWS : grandiose scheme was adopted by the UN at its September 25-27 meeting in New York,
17 “Sustainable Development Goals” and no fewer than 169 targets – all of which are to be implemented by 2030.
Cfact article

Nov 14, 2015 at 5:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterstewgreen

Nov 14, 2015 at 5:50 AM | Unregistered Commenter stewgreen

Thanks mate, it is so revealing that they only explain the true reasons when talking to each other, never to the public.
It is equally interesting that Cameron chaired a UN committee charged with overseeing the creation of these targets but forgot to mention it to Joe Public.

Nov 14, 2015 at 11:24 AM | Registered CommenterDung