Sustainability – The New Buzzword

picture of polar bears
Polar bear population is greater now than fifty years ago.

Welcome to the newest meaningless buzz word, sustainability.

We hear the word being bandied about all the time, but have you ever really sat down and thought about what it really means?  Our environmental kooks have given the word, sustainability, the following definition.

From : Sustainability – Environmental Science . the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance: The committee is developing sustainability standards for products that use energy.

There you have it. Something that is sustainable supports ecological balance. The problem is that nobody knows what ecological balance is. They just make it up as they go.

The World Wrestling Federation  World Wildlife Fund demonstrates this ability to make stuff up with the following.

Ecological Balance:  Ecological balance has been defined by various online dictionaries as “a state of dynamic equilibrium within a community of organisms in which genetic, species and ecosystem diversity remain relatively stable, subject to gradual changes through natural succession.” and “A stable balance in the numbers of each species in an ecosystem.”

First of all, equilibrium as postulated does not exist. Relative numbers, and the stability of populations change all the time, especially if viewed from a historical standpoint. The problem, here, is that the WWF nutto’s have created something that does not exist, dynamic equilibrium. There is no guaranteed, or normal, state of equilibrium in  nature. All we see, now, are simply snapshots of nature at a given time, and we don’t even see or understand the whole picture.

The eco-whacko’s tell us that the use of oil as a primary energy source is unsustainable. OK. I will buy that. But, it is sustainable for at least the next century.

Where did I get the 100 years? Well, some sources say it will be only twenty or thirty years before oil gets so expensive we cannot afford it. However, we have recently discovered major reserves in the oil sands beneath Canada and the United States. Great Britain has discovered huge amounts of natural gas in shale rock formations.

Here is the problem with the sustainable idea, and it doesn’t take an Einstein to see it. Nothing in this world is sustainable forever. Even with the eco-whacko definition of sustainability, the environment changes so much naturally, that we cannot define the equilibrium points.

So, the word sustainable in the environmental sense is a contrived concept that conveniently fits into a Marxist agenda.

In the long-term, nothing is sustainable. In the long-term we are all dead.

6 thoughts on “Sustainability – The New Buzzword”

  1. I appreciate your point of view, though I must disagree.

    Because we don’t fully understand ecological balance, should we ignore it? In a forest, should we suppress fire to the extent that wildfires blaze (violently burning the forest and homes), or clearcut to the extent that fertile soil erodes and only weedy trees return, or should we attempt to quantify biodiversity, harvest the trees selectively (jobs), and still have the forest for the long term? I concede that ecology is in its infancy, but there are lots of neat ways to quantify the natural world.

    Anyway, many folks now consider sustainability to promote environmental quality, but also long-term economic feasibility and social equity. Lots of things that are sustainable can end up saving money. Many folks in Kansas do not believe in climate change, but they believe in the economic benefit of wind power. Solar power is on its way to decreasing costs enough to rival subsidized oil and coal…just a matter of time and technology.

    In the meantime, yes, oil isn’t going away. Where are we going to get the massive quantities of water to acquire the oil sands? Lots of stuff appears to be out west where water sources are scarce. Will the water be polluted and unusable for homes and agriculture?
    Just looking to continue the conversation…

  2. Mark, I appreciate your comments, even if the tone of some of my statements in the article were less than appreciative about what appear to be your viewpoints.

    Let me take your statements one at a time, and reply in the civil manner you have established.

    1. “we don’t fully understand ecological balance, should we ignore it?

    Certainly, since we don’t fully understand ecological balance, don’t you think we need to define it rather than make bad guesses based on political agendas?

    How long should such balances exist to be called a balance? My point is that we don’t even know that. These so-called balances change from day to day, year to year, and millenium to millenium. The concept of ecological balance is like a wet bar of soap, you can’t get a handle on it. It is not scientific, nor supportable.

    Slash and burn, and similar destructive actions are not justifiable in today’s economic climate. We are truly in a world economy. As a matter of fact, here in the US we are doing a remarkable job in land management compared to other countries, having cleaned up our water resources, and our air to a remarkable degree.

    The EPA’s recent actions regarding mercury and carbon dioxide are simply not based in reality, nor any credible science. The USA is more forested now than even at the beginning of the 20th century, and it has been because hundreds of thousands of subsistence farms have been abandoned because those small farmers found better economics in employment, elsewhere.The additional CO2 in the atmosphere is causing the entire globe to be greener, and the trees to grow faster.

    What we have is generally good news for the environment.

    2. “Anyway, many folks now consider sustainability to promote environmental quality, but also long-term economic feasibility and social equity.

    In this case, Mark, you need to be a little more specific with your terminology. The phrase,”sustainability to promote envorinmental quality” is an invented concept, too. Please explain to me what this means, and how something that is not defined can suport another undefined term, environmental quality.

    “long-term economic feasibility” – I believe this is where you have an inadequate knowledge of economics and technologies. I assume that you are talking about solar and wind technologies. The simple truth is that they will NEVER become economically feasible because, at best, they are intermittent power sources. Solar cells do not generate in the dark, and wind mills don’t generate when the wind doesn’t blow. For each kilowatt of solar or wind generation built, we have to build a kilowatt of reliable coal, gas, or nuclear generation. It is that simple. Can you economically justify more than a doubling of investment in electric generation?

    and social equity”. – From Wikipedia, “Social equality is a social state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status… it also includes concepts of economic equity…”. You must have thrown this in to your reply just to goad me. Why would you even consider social equity as a legitimate goal when we already have achieve it? In the USA we are all free legally and economically, at least before the current Administration.

    3. Climate change – This is a meaningless marketing term. It was invented because the climate alarmists were losing the global warming argument. They were losing the global warming argument because nobody believed them. We have all been victims of scientific con artists, before.

    As a matter of fact, the climate has done nothing but change throughout history, even though alarmists had different reasons for coining the new phrase. They want people to believe the preposterous notion that CO2 is responsible for ALL change, especially severe weather events.

    Fact A – Carbon dioxide induced atmospheric warming is real, but limited. Therein is your 97% consensus among scientists. Hardly any of these scientists subscribe to the ideas of 20 ft sea level increases in the next century, nor any other catastrophic events caused by atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    Fact B – There is absolutely no credible science showing that hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or other sever weather events have anything to do with carbon dioxide induced atmospheric warming. There are some models that purport to show such, but models are not vestiges of climate. They are only imperfect models with dozens of assumptions.

    Fact C – Carbon dioxide is part of the carbon cycle on earth that keeps living things alive. CO2 is not a pollutant, it is plant food. Ask any biologist. Even hot house farmers pump up the CO2 to get higher yields of whatever crop being produced.

    Fact D. – Arctic Ice has been thin ice, before, probably many times. The nuclear submarine, USS Skate, surfaced in open water at the North Pole in 1959. Roald Amundsen sailed the Northwest passage in the early 20th century. We only have knowledge of Arctic ice extent since 1979 with the advent of satellites. Prior to that, there is plenty of evidence that the Arctic has waxed and waned in ice extent. So, the next time you hear some scientists talk about the current Arctic ice extent being unprecedented, that means only since 1979.

    4. Frakking has been used in oil production for decades. It was in use when I lived in Houston, Texas in the early 1980’s. There are no known wide spread problems caused by the method, and there is no scientific or other reason to think frakking now would produce a major problem.

    Ok, I have taken up a lot of space in questioning your terminology, much of which is not defined in any specific way. It is lilke religious lore, you have to be a member of the church before you understand it. Much of what you speak is religious in nature, not scientific or even rational.

  3. Usually when the ordinary people mention sustainability, they’re thinking green, save electricity, recycle, etc.

    When the hardcore greenies are talking sustainability, that’s usually code for humans are the problem, anything that can result in real progress for humanity is bad. In some rare cases they’ll even admit a yearning for some sort of human culling program.

  4. They certainly are building their own vocabulary, and have yet to make sense. This is a sure sign that the environmentalists have not thought through their own ideals.

  5. I knew you were bigger than I am, but wow, what a plethora (I like that word) of knowledge. You are either one of those aliens the Science channel people are looking for, ( I personally know you have been sitting at ham radio units for decades, waiting for something or someone to call ) or your office is a heck of a lot bigger than mine with bigger stacks and volumes of knowledge and research you have been doing ever since you lost your sales job. A big hat tip to you for these eye opening journals of information.

    On the “Sustainability – The New Buzzword” paper, the definition of “Ecological Balance: Ecological balance has been defined by various online dictionaries as “a state of dynamic equilibrium within a community of organisms in which genetic, species and ecosystem diversity remain relatively stable, subject to gradual changes through natural succession.” and “A stable balance in the numbers of each species in an ecosystem.” If they had of left out the words “natural succession” it would have been enough to completely debunk the theory of evolution. But, they could not have and this is why. The Marxists would love a “natural succession” from our Constitution to socialism and these people probably are Marxist. If they left it out they could not have meaning in their movement. Without “natural succession” our president could not have “evolved” into his present state of mind. I don’t have time to soak in all these new definitions, much less time to wash dishes, scrub floors, fix Toyotas, re-fill ink cartridges, search for recipes online so my retirement money will last till the next month and, of course catch up with your blog. Have a good week and please stop bullying the Austin Mini-Coopers.

  6. Thanks for your comment. Yes, I got fired from a couple of sales jobs, but it was not for reading on the job. Everytime I got on an airplane, I had a book to read. This went on for twenty or so years, and that’s a lot of science fiction, adventure, and technical books. My modus operandus in air travel was to nap until the plane got off the ground, order a drink, and settle in for an hour or two reading. My voluminous knowledge did not come cheap.

    I am moving this comment to the current post.

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