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Science Wednesday: Year of Science-Question of the Month

2009 May 6

Each week we write about the science behind environmental protection. Previous Science Wednesdays.

For each month in 2009, the Year of Science—we will pose a question related to science. Please let us know your thoughts as comments, and feel free to respond to earlier comments, or post new ideas.

The Year of Science theme for May is Sustainability and the Environment.

One of the most widely-cited definitions of sustainability is “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

What does sustainability mean to you, and what are you doing to achieve it?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. John Fassler permalink
    May 6, 2009

    Sustainability? What a great exercise. It seems like an easy question. What does this word I use daily mean? I really think this is a difficult question for those of us living in privileged society and consuming so much more than the rest of the world. My ideal for sustainability is the from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. A group of scientists from this Institute calculated that a sustainable amount of energy required by society if all are consuming the same amount is 2,000 watts. In the US we consume about 12,000 watts per person. In Europe it’s about 6,000 watts per person. I really haven’t computed my total usage but I know I’ve got a long way to go even though I ride my bicycle almost everywhere and conserve all I think I can. We’ve all got a long way to go to be truly sustainable.

  2. Dave Gardner permalink
    May 7, 2009

    True sustainability over the long haul cannot be achieved while population grows. And – short or long term – the more the population grows the lighter we each must live on the planet in order to achieve anything close to sustainability. So for me sustainability includes stable or declining population. What am I doing about it? I stopped at two children, and I’m producing a non-profit documentary to help the world get unhooked from its growth addiction.

    Dave Gardner
    Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity

  3. May 7, 2009

    definitions of sustainability: maintain the well being of life & planet in balance & harmony.

  4. Jackenson Durand permalink
    May 7, 2009

    The best way to achieve this sustainability is to continue this global education on nature conservency, in less advance countries by teaching, how to conserve using water.

  5. Hael permalink
    May 9, 2009

    This is really the month to think about sustainability. Let just all work together to help the environment. Well, i need to admit that we need to have teachings about this per place and it should be mandatory to attend. This is a very important topic, we all need to think about it because in the end we will all suffer


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