What is sustainability and what influences it?

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I was asked to speak on the subject of ``What do we mean by sustainability and what factors have the most impact on it?`` I am afraid I must admit that if there is a generally accepted definition of sustainability, at least as applied to mankind and terrestrial systems, then I am not aware of it. But I expect you know that, or you would not be having this session. The subject of sustainability is one that interests us all. In fact, I think that it fascinates us all because the concept is one to which we can intimately relate. ... continued below

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9 p.

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Schock, R.N. June 4, 1997.

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Description

I was asked to speak on the subject of ``What do we mean by sustainability and what factors have the most impact on it?`` I am afraid I must admit that if there is a generally accepted definition of sustainability, at least as applied to mankind and terrestrial systems, then I am not aware of it. But I expect you know that, or you would not be having this session. The subject of sustainability is one that interests us all. In fact, I think that it fascinates us all because the concept is one to which we can intimately relate. Sustainability implies eternal life; and throughout history, humankind has sought, sometimes secretly, sometimes openly, eternal life, if not for ourselves at least for our progeny. What I will try to do is (1) briefly discuss some of what has been said about this topic, (2) propose a definition that I believe is workable, and point out some of the issues that derive from it, and then (3) suggest what I think we can all do to ensure the sustainability of the planet. I confess to you at the outset that I am an optimist on this subject, and a technological optimist at that. By that I mean that I believe that humans and technology are inextricably linked and that technology provides one of the great keys to helping human beings achieve their goals. I also believe that sustainability is an achievable goal and that it is not a concept to be feared, either intrinsically or economically.

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9 p.

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OSTI as DE98050922

Other: FDE: PDF; PL:

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  • International Electric Research Exchange general meeting, San Francisco, CA (United States), 4-7 May 1997

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  • Other: DE98050922
  • Report No.: UCRL-JC--127395
  • Report No.: CONF-9705298--
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 358851
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc680763

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  • June 4, 1997

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  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • April 6, 2017, 6:18 p.m.

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Schock, R.N. What is sustainability and what influences it?, article, June 4, 1997; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc680763/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.