Talk:Sustainability/Archive 25

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Archive 24 Archive 25 Archive 26

Comments on peer review

There are some simple, easily fixable, things here - I've started doing some. There are also some bigger issues. Rhurfish's last comment suggests the need for re-writing and condensing some sections (e.g., Definition section) focussing on WP:WIAFA criteria 1a (well-written: its prose is engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard). It also occurs to me that the "Environmental dimension" section is way longer than those of the other dimensions and would benefit from some serious editing and trimming. I volunteer to take that on. The automated review also suggests some editing concerns such as weasel words, Brit/Amer spelling, etc. I note Rhurfish's comment that the UN refs seemed reliable to him, which should put that question to bed. How about we make these changes and then submit the article for GA or "A" Class assessment? In the alternative, if we were able to dramatically improve things (esp. w/ regard to criterion 1a), we might still go for FA Class. Thoughts? Sunray (talk) 16:38, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for taking all this on Sunray. I am happy to try and reduce the History and Definitions sections - and work at the "ticks". As we have all invested a lot in both these sections I am keen not to lose important information. I expect that to a casual reader the Definition section is long, rather wordy and tedious. However, the first question people will want an answer to is "What the hell is sustainability anyway?" A lot turns on the way we answer - and I think we have actually handled this vexed question well - but perhaps the words can be made more friendly. Also we could return for a while to our special collective editing pages again to work to consensus as before, which might avoid nasty shocks on the main page? Is that OK? After a bit of work I think the article would compare very favourably with the "Sustainable energy in Scotland" FA article that R mentioned. Lets go for the best and pull back if issues arise? Granitethighs (talk) 00:35, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
It makes sense to me to re-work sections on the subpages. One thing that Rhurfish recommends [1] is that we go for a GA nomination before going for FA. I think that this would provide us more useful feedback and would give us a sense of our progress. We could respond to all the recommendations from the two peer reviews and then submit a GAN request? What do others think of this approach? Sunray (talk) 06:48, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Bad idea. Dissolve the team. It is not making the article better. Give up and let others edit the article. It has been over a year now that the article has been controlled by several people rejecting others in that process [2] .. tying the article up to a pov of political aspect for another 6 months or year will not accomplish any good thing. It is not really consensus editing that you are doing but just controlling content. A simple thing like not acknowledging that reffing the U.N. 10 times in one little section seems a little odd, and then defending that in a way that indicates the U.N. is a reliable source instead of just saying it is blatantly over reffed and over used to extreme, or that there would be by all appearance political ax grinding going on in the article suggests that the article is a failure in its current incarnation. Suggestion. Just stop the pov crusade, and open the article to other points of view [3]skip sievert (talk) 07:26, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
As I've said before, GA would be a better goal right now to attain before we think about FAC. I'm not a fan of the automated peer review, this article really needs to be subject to an individual case-by-case style PR, many of the automated PR suggestions are lacking. Skip, your comments above were unfounded, I found them to be inciteful and somewhat disruptive. Much of your comments are going over old ground. Please listen to what other editors are saying, absorb it and take it on board. Nick carson (talk) 07:41, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Does that include Cazorts comments? Also V.B's comments??... [4] ... or the other editors that have been driven from editing the article of which there have been many? This Wikipedia:Call a spade a spade as in a general reality check does not seem to be working on the talk page. Other editors? What about the ones that have ditched the article because of issues mentioned? A closed special interest group is not a consensus. Any group of editors that does not see something wrong with sourcing something 10 times in two paragraphs has some very basic things not happening as to being a viable editing consortium. I can give multiple examples of people being dead ended here. skip sievert (talk) 07:59, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
OK - I'm happy with GAN. On the other hand we could take Skip's advice, dissolve the collaborative editing and get Skips npov on sustainability ... a good dose of thermoeconomics, heterodox economics, technocracy, wage slavery etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc., Guaranteed FA (so to speak)Granitethighs (talk) 12:52, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Skip, you are taking V.B.'s comments out of context. Subsequently he worked collaboratively with Granitethighs and me. As to Cazort's comments, we have discussed them. Time to move on. Sunray (talk)
Nick, the automated review was just a "bonus". The peer review results precede it. For the automated review to be useful, we will have to go over the comments one by one in light of policies and guidelines. Some of those observations will be useful, some not. I see you opt for GAN as well. That does seem like a good step to me. Sunray (talk) 14:19, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I repeat. A closed special interest group is not a consensus. Any group of editors that does not see something wrong with sourcing one point of view 10 times in two paragraphs has some very basic things not happening as to being a viable editing team. Also G.T. your comment is not funny, more in the personal attack mode. Harassment is defined as a pattern of offensive behavior that appears to a reasonable observer to have the purpose of adversely affecting a targeted person or persons. The intended outcome may be to make editing Wikipedia unpleasant for the target, to undermine them, or to discourage them from editing. Skip, you are taking V.B.'s comments out of context. Subsequently he worked collaboratively with Granitethighs and me. Not true. And he vanished then after being dead ended [5] and [6] and [7] and [8].. etc. - skip sievert (talk) 19:08, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Skip: You are right that V.B. had a difference with GT in the beginning, as did I. However, we reconciled our differences soon after the time of those diffs you provided above, which were from August 20-23. The turning point actually came on August 23 and the following day, V.B. and GT reached an accommodation [9]. Collaborative editing continued for the following month. Let's just leave it at that, o.k.? Sunray (talk) 01:17, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Your diff does not support your contention, nor does the edit history. skip sievert (talk) 08:10, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, these diffs should remove all doubt: [10], [11], [12], [13]. Sunray (talk) 20:01, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Not so much. It did not address the issues. That being oft repeated here. Obviously there was some agreement on other areas. skip sievert (talk) 17:13, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Skip: why not engage in positive editing somewhere in Wikipedia. What do you hope to achieve by raking around all this stuff? If you really do believe there is a controlling "cabal" (yes, that was how you described the editing team once - no personal attack or harassment there I suppose) why waste your time with it? My future time goes into the article not this kind of negative muck-raking. I could dig out all the dirt of your editing history (there's plenty there as you well know) but I dont have the time and nothing would be achieved except it would incite you to dig more and so on ad nauseam. Dont you see what a totally unproductive waste of time that sort of thing is? This is the last time I bight at your bating, so make the most of it - from now on I only deal with sensible contributions to the article. Granitethighs (talk) 11:04, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Insulting or disparaging an editor is a personal attack regardless of the manner in which it is done. When in doubt, comment on the article's content without referring to its contributor at all. I tried to inform you a bit about the dynamic of the article. The talk page reflects the very low level of the very shabby article, and that is a pity - Wikipedia:No personal attacks. As said, I believe the team has been a failure and should disband to let others edit, thus getting away from the extreme narrow political pov of the article. A year of trying to rewrite is enough [14] and a team (in this case) that controls content is not consensus editing, only reflective of a narrow pov. that does not illuminate the subject. Any team of editors that does not see something wrong with sourcing 10 times in three paragraphs ([15]), to the same basic pov, has some very basic things not happening as to being a viable editing block.skip sievert (talk) 16:50, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
The editing would no doubt have proceeded much more quickly if it hadn't been for all the side-tracking. However, that is the past. Now we have work to do. Let's agree to avoid further side tracking. We have the peer review to respond to. Then a GA nomination. One step at a time. Sunray (talk) 18:24, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
 Done Granitethighs (talk) 00:25, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good Sunray, fantastic. Nick carson (talk) 06:10, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

History section

Our peer review mentions that the article is generally too long as is the Table of contents. IMO the History section should, ideally, make up a relatively small part of the article, say no more than 10-15%. I think at present it takes up much more and, with its illustrations, headings and references uses up a lot of article space which is difficult to justify. I think this section is especially good and am loath to do anything to it ... but suggest that to meet WP guidelines and the peer review we simply transfer it holus-bolus into a new article called "History of sustainability" and summarise its content in the main article. I do not want to inflict this on unwilling editors - so please have your say as to whether you think this is a good idea.

I offer the following as a first attempt at a "reduction".

I think a "summary" nav bar as suggested by TP would be excellent next to this, instead of the pictures - the effort here is just to give a sample of what could be done - all the categories and content need changing - it is just to get your comments on whether you like it. The principle is that such a nav box is context sensitive and can lead you on - unlike footer nav bars (which are hidden but serve other needs).


General categories

Sustainability governance ·
Sustainability measurement

Fields and subfields

Population  · Consumption · Technology
Food · Materials · Energy  · Water
Biological conservation  · Biodiversity


Ecological footprint ·
Life Cycle Assessment


Journals · Publications
Categories · Topics · Scientists

History of sustainability

Portal.svg Sustainable development Portal

In early human history the environmental impacts of small bands of hunter-gatherers would have been relatively small , even though the use of fire and th desire for specific foods may have altered the natural composition of plant and animal communities.[1] With the Neolithic Revolution 8,000 and 10,000 years ago came the emergence of agriculture and settled communities. Societies outgrowing their local food supply or depleting critical resources either moved on or faced collapse.[2] In contrast, stable communities of shifting cultivators and horticulturists existed in New Guinea and South America, and large agrarian communities in China, India , Polynesiaand elsewhere have farmed in the same localities for centuries. [3] and kaitiakitanga[4]

Technological advances over several millennia gave humans increasing control over the environment. But it was the Western industrial revolution of the 17th to 19th centuries that tapped into the vast growth potential of the energy in fossil fuels to power sophisticated machinery technology.[5] Such conditions led to a human population explosion and unprecedented industrial, technological and scientific growth that has continued to this day. From 1650 to 1850 the global population doubled from around 500 million to 1 billion people.[6]

By the 20th century, the industrial revolution had resulted in an exponential increase in the human consumption of resources and an increase in health, wealth and population. Ecology as a new scientific discipline was gaining general acceptance and ideas now part and parcel to sustainability were being explored including the recognition of the interconnectedness of living systems, the importance of global natural cycles, the passage of energy through trophic levels of living systems.[7]

After the deprivations of the great depression and World War II the developed world entered a post-1950s "great acceleration” of growth and population while a gathering environmental movement pointed out that there were environmental costs associated with the many material benefits that were now being enjoyed. Technological innovations included plastics, synthetic chemicals and nuclear energy as fossil fuels also continued to transform society. The negative influences of the new technology were by American marine biologist, naturalist and environmentalist Rachel Carson in her influential book Silent Spring in 1962. A period of peak oil production was anticipated in 1956 by American geoscientist M. King Hubbert's [[peak oil.[8] In the 1970s environmentalism's concern with pollution, the population explosion, consumerism and the depletion of finite resources found expression in Small Is Beautiful, by British economist E. F. Schumacher in 1973, and The Limits to Growth published by the global think tank, the Club of Rome, in 1975.

By the late twentieth century environmental problems were becoming global in scale.[9][10][11][12] and the 1973 and 1979 energy crises demonstrated the extent to which the global community had become dependent on a nonrenewable resource.

In 1987 the United Nation's World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission), in its report Our Common Future suggested that development was acceptable, but it must be sustainable development that would meet the needs of the poor while not increasing environmental problems. In 1961 almost all countries in the world had more than enough capacity to meet their own demand but by 2005 the situation had changed radically with many countries able to meet their needs only by importing resources from other nations.[10] A move toward sustainable living by increasing public awareness and adoption of recycling, and renewable energies emerged. The development of renewable sources of energy in the 1970s and 80's, primarily in wind turbines and photovoltaics and increased use of hydroelectricity, presented some of the first sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel and nuclear energy generation, the first large-scale solar and wind power plants appearing during the 1980s and 90's.[13][14]

In the 21st century there is heightened awareness of the threat posed by the human-induced enhanced greenhouse effect.[15][16] Ecological economics now seeks to bridge the gap between ecology and traditional neoclassical economics:[17][18] and proposes an inclusive and ethical economic model for society. Many new techniques have arisen to help measure and implement sustainability including Life Cycle Assessment (the [[Cradle to Cradle, the Ecological Footprint Analysis, green building and more[19] The work of Bina Agarwal and Vandana Shiva amongst many others, has brought some of the cultural wisdom of traditional, sustainable agrarian societies into the academic discourse on sustainability, and also blended that with modern scientific principles.[20] Granitethighs (talk) 01:49, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Very nice work, GT. I agree that this is the way to go and that the original text will make a nice article, which I have begun. I hope to do something similar with the "Environmental management" and "Management of human consumption" sections, but will be delayed a few days in getting to it. Sunray (talk) 07:06, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Wow, that's great Sunray, thanks. Granitethighs (talk) 07:46, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I really like this and especially the way the navbar works. That was exactly the picture I had in my mind, and will help in scoping and managing the tangle of "green" articles that currently bear little relation to each other.--Travelplanner (talk) 20:21, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Article perspective

I have tried to bring to attention some issues I have with the article here [16]. Maybe more people involved could change the repeated information as to the political and U.N. based over linking especially in the Transition section, but in the entire article as well, and also help to improve the general aspects of the article. I removed the endure sentence again which in my view casts a strangely idiosyncratic and hard to perceive definition at the beginning of the article. I would like to suggest again that there are too many hoops to jump through made by the team to edit on this article. My experience on Wikipedia has no other situation of 3 active editors controlling an article look and content for over a year. skip sievert (talk) 04:38, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

This is getting really tedious Skip. New editors have always been free and welcome to contribute to the article - it is not a "closed shop" - there was a specific invitation made for more editors a short while ago. I can understand that a consensus can seem like a "closed shop" to someone in the minority - but what do you suggest here - that the editors of this article simply defer to your views? What sort of consensus would that be? If other editors and/or reviewers see the article as "political la la" (your words) then this will be addressed. In the meantime, I am sorry but the article proceeds by consensus and, on this particular issue, you are a minority voice Skip. You are simply continuing on a path of WP:Disruptive editing. It is close to the time for action Skip. I have reverted the change you made to the lead that was not discussed on this page. Granitethighs (talk) 07:29, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Granitethighs. Wikipedia is a collaborative project and "Consensus is Wikipedia's fundamental model for editorial decision-making". Skipsievert: Would you be willing to try harder to work within an approach based on collaboration and consensus? Sunray (talk) 10:04, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, but I could ask the team the same question Fallacy of many questions, but my hope is that other editors get into this article to make improvements ([17]). My editing elsewhere speaks for itself, and constant taunting and baiting by the team of accusations and put-downs has gotten way old on the talk page. Please cease and desist. I may take action if the attacking continues.
When a serious person raises serious issues it may be better to listen. I also am of the opinion that the sign up and editing team has outlived its usefulness perhaps some time ago, and encourage the editing team for multiple reasons to disband, to open the article more for wide-ranging more open pov editing to the article. That is my opinion. skip sievert (talk) 16:56, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Explaination for my edits.

I have made some edits that have been questioned.

  • I deleted seventeen footer templates since it was an excessive number of templates and some were not even relevant. Having the Outline of sustainability and Index of sustainability articles made the templates even less necessary. Index of sustainability articles should be part of the See also section rather than the random selection that currently are listed. It is also a better style and a better navigation method than having the numerous templates.
  • I deleted the entire History section, which now needs a summary, since what appeared to be an exact copy existed at History of sustainability. It is not the done thing to have such a large amount of info duplicated in two separate articles.
  • I deleted a paragraph in the Transitions section relating to individual countries since it is not relevant in an article at this level of the hierarchy. The info I deleted would be approp in "Sustainability in [Country]" articles. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 10:17, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Your edits have been constructive, IMO and thank you for your explanation. I don't disagree with the deletion of the templates. As to the History section, Granitethighs had written a condensed version which we were in the midst of discussing on this page. Meanwhile I had created a new article from the existing text. I've since moved the summary to the article. As to your deletion of the last paragraph, I agree with your rationale about the level of specificity not being appropriate for an article at this level in the hierarchy. However, I don't think that the article ends well without something more than the first two paragraphs. Re-reading it, I think we might leave one sentence from the paragraph you deleted to address my concern as well as yours. We are only two; let's see what other editors think. Sunray (talk) 11:02, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks from me also, but I'm still unclear where we get to on navbars/infoboxes. Sorting this one out is difficult but will be worthwhile across all of the Sustainability articles and potentially could be of use in other huge topics as well (Science, Global warming). The Outline of sustainability is in my view the best start as to content, but almost nobody looks at it. Index of sustainability articles is daunting, a resource for the expert rather than a map for newcomers. Above is an example developed as a sort of draft infobox sustainability, along with further discussion on this topic. I think we were working towards eliminating the navbars, but also hoping to create something to function as a map of the sustainability articles, in their place.
Regarding Transition, the "less is more" approach may be a way out of some of our difficulties, the two paragraphs that are there seem noncontroversial, and it's been suggested that if we talk about political change we also need to talk about how ineffective political change to date has been. Sunray, which sentence were you thinking of adding?--Travelplanner (talk) 20:48, 22 August 2009 (UTC)


I have now place a number of tags on the article indicating areas that need addressing. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 10:43, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

The article length is a concern of several editors and the condensation of the History section was a first step towards use of summary style. I've modified the last section along the lines described above and removed the tags. You would be welcome to restore them if you think that there is more work needed in that section. Sunray (talk) 11:10, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
The transition section is only two paragraphs long... yet it sources and mentions one way or another, through article links and ref note citations and quotations the United Nations related material 10 times. This seems like the section is terribly over-weighted with that material and pov. While some of the overt progressive liberal information about the politics of Al Gore and Obama and others is now gone and that is an article improvement, leaving the over the top political sourcing to the U.N. and its opinions, in particular dulls the article ending a lot. Mention of the U.N. as a source is ok, maybe once, or stretching it twice in this section, yes... but redundant sourcing and phrasing to it really casts a light of over weighting and the article then becomes a vehicle for that information rather than an indicator of diverse ideas creatively given. This appears to be a basic flaw in the closed consensus editing team here as far as the history of editing the article has gone.
A suggestion: if the team wants to focus on that idea so much, it would be as suggested, that a separate article entitled Sustainability and the United Nations may be in order... but to redundantly focus so much in this article on Sustainability connected to U.N. issues, is too much. For this reason the Transition section can be tagged as over-weighted still as to political approach pov to the subject. skip sievert (talk) 17:16, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
There is a need to include at least some sort of mention of the UN considering its status as a dominant global organisation and the work it does on sustainability. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 20:08, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
There are important distinctions between quoting a compendium of scientific studies collated by the UN (eg. the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment), and the resolutions of the UN as an international political body (eg. the Millennium Declaration). This is a summary article so we need to limit the content on individual countries' policies (essential, to control length), and also rely on large meta-studies of scientific information rather than individual pieces of research (not only because of length but because this is what any good scientist would do for a topic at this level). So we end up quoting the UN quite a lot, but just counting the quotes is meaningless as the UN is fulfilling at least two very different roles. (PS Alan we have had this discussion *100 before, I'm just repeating for your benefit).--Travelplanner (talk) 20:33, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
I think you mean you have tried to dead end the conversation 100 times before Travelplanner? Actually quoting the U.N. directly or indirectly 10 times, in a section that is two paragraphs long... the Transition section seems over the top absurd, and brings into serious question the pov of the team that supports the edit, in my opinion. Also noted that the article previously was so ridiculously overloaded as to be comical almost, before I whittled away at some of them [18]. Also please stop the relentless negative tone about other editors and the 100 times previous story. I am sick of the pointless diatribes on this discussion page, and dismissing of real issues in the article. skip sievert (talk) 04:56, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Well put TP. Skip, no one is dismissing the real issues in this article. Nick carson (talk) 11:15, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Nick are you still involved as a volunteer for the U.N. or an employee??, as you previously have stated, and if so, is it possible that editing in an outreach way in relationship to over sourcing something (my opinion), which may be a pet project could be conflicting encyclopedia values with your own pov on the article page? -> [19] - skip sievert (talk) 15:03, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
I am neither a volunteer or employee of the UN. I never previously stated that I was either. You might also like to note that I haven't cited the UN. Now lets get to work on the real issues, GAC, new articles and whatnot :] Nick carson (talk) 10:14, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
'...and am involved in the United Nations education program as part of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development in Australia. I try and focus my efforts on education and awareness. end quote, NickC -> [20] - There is nothing wrong with your involvement. I was just wondering about the teams overwhelming preoccupation with the U.N. as to editing the article and that having a deleterious effect on the creative presentation of information in the article, such as in the Transition section but elsewhere also as to over over and over sourcing that pov. (in my opinion). skip sievert (talk) 18:11, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Skip, you have expressed this opinion many times on these pages. No one else agrees with you. Would you be willing to stop continually regurgitating these issues? Sunray (talk) 00:44, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Fallacy of many questions I did not make anything up... just quoting something. Last time I checked regurgitating is something like throwing up. Do you really think it is a good idea to bait or taunt a serious editor Sunray, and do you remember when you were warned by an admin. not to call people names on Wikipedia and to let others edit the article, which the team seems to have ownership issues with? Finally some small positive changes have been made... but the article is so poorly done as to not being a neutral tone that it is still suffering badly. Sad really. It could be made a lot better if the revert team did not attack each new person, and let others edit creatively and collaboratively. - skip sievert (talk) 04:33, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Skip, it is merely regurgitation, many months ago I explained the reasoning behind the inclusion of that sentence on my userpage and to trawl up an old discussion that has already been resolved only serves as justification for suspicions anyone might have as to your ability to listen, get the point, absorb information and any potential suspicions that your goal may be disruption. You say your not looking to disrupt things for the sake of disrupting them, so why not prove it through your own actions rather than doing the opposite of what your so adamant you are doing? Nick carson (talk) 05:14, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
All in the last few paragraphs. I think you mean you have tried to dead end the conversation 100 times before Travelplanner? Nick are you still involved as a volunteer for the U.N. or an employee? Sunray, and do you remember when you were warned by an admin. not to call people names on Wikipedia. Who is doing the baiting Skip? I think these assertions and accusations are major provocation: a deliberate attempt at WP:Disruptive editing is an extremely mild way of putting it. How on Earth is this promoting a collaborative ethos? Granitethighs (talk) 05:57, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Collaborative editing is just that. People write things and they are modified, and hopefully improved. That has not been the case on this page for a very long time. Please stop bandying disruptive editing around. At a certain point... like every paragraph you have written recently it is just more of the same personal attacking. The Transition section can be tagged as over-weighted still as to political approach pov to the subject. skip sievert (talk) 06:46, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Skipsievert, my observation is that every so often you raise a topic here and then discuss it at length. If other editors do not agree with you, you do not accept the consensus and frequently raise the same issue again and again. One editor continually presenting his own point of view and failing to listen to the views of others goes against collaborative editing and is disruptive. Please stop. Sunray (talk) 10:49, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Wrong. The article is controlled by 3 or 4 people and has been for over a year [21]. To me this represents a special interest group as to how the sign up team has been editing the article [22]. Recently a few of my edits were adopted on the page including the lead area and the transition section. Why? Because another editor came in that is outside of the pov of the team. Now a fairly good definition of sustainability is on the article in the beginning, and most of the overt political pov has been removed from the Transition section. Calling another editor that disagrees with content disruptive over and over is more or less a personal attack Sunray. This discussion page should not be used in that way by you or G.T. when discussing article changes. skip sievert (talk) 17:13, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
That is your point of view. Others do not share it. We are saying that it is disruptive when you continually bring up the same issues over and over again. Time to stop. Sunray (talk) 01:23, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, but you do not own the article and I find the repeated taunting and baiting problematic on this page. Repeat... another editor recently shared my views and made changes that I had proposed for some time [23]. If you have serious issues with anything related to aspects of editing go here Wikipedia:Dispute resolution, but cease and desist in accusations on the discussion page Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. - skip sievert (talk) 01:38, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Just stop. Sunray (talk) 07:36, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Maybe you could think about opening the article up to other people, because the tiny bit it was opened and edited by user User:Alan Liefting a simple but vast improvement was made. Also maybe just stopping telling other editors to just stop editing constructively is not a good idea because you differ as to content issues. If you have serious issues with anything related to aspects of editing go here Wikipedia:Dispute resolution, but cease and desist in accusations on the discussion page Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. Some of the worst now of the political pov is gone because of constructive editing on the article page [24], though the article still displays an over abundance of it. My view is that the current team fought that change in the Transition section [25], which in effect fought a content improvement to the article, because of bias as to pov toward political interpretations of the subject. - skip sievert (talk) 14:51, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
The article is open to everyone who has uncensored access to the internet. Chill out and let's get on with it :] Nick carson (talk) 03:11, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Sustainabiity nav boxes

Major branches of sustainability

Sustainability governance ·
Environment ·
Society ·
Economy ·
Sustainability measurement

Fields and subfields

Population  · Consumption · Technology
Food · Materials · Energy  · Water
Biological conservation  · Biodiversity


Scale ·


Journals · Publications
Categories · Topics · Scientists

History of sustainability

Portal.svg Sustainable development Portal

Sustainability/Archive 25

Wikipedia uses a range of navigation systems including categories, navigation boxes, information boxes, hyperlinks, lists and more. The advantages and disadvantages of these are discussed at WP:CLN. Navigation systems can overlap in scope and function so it is tempting to suggest that standardizing on one system might be an advantage. Each, however, appears to have its advantages so editors are given the choice of using any combination or none.

There is much to be said for having a synoptic outline of major topics that breaks subjects down into their major constituent parts – like “Outline of sustainability” attempts to do - but as quite a lengthy list. This guides the reader through the structure of the subject and how its parts are related to each other: it provides a logical framework as a hierarchy, which displays “parentage” between entries. In practice the intricate cross-linking of branches of knowledge means that a strict hierarchical structure does not always reflect the web of connections between pages and that is why other navigation systems like categories are useful – because knowledge cannot be represented precisely in a hierarchy. Nevertheless it is the way libraries are organized. There is currently a Wikipedia attempt to provide outlines to major topics, mostly in the form of structured lists.

An information box on each page outlining its connection to major related topics would seem to be a great navigation aid. Sustainability articles could pioneer this approach. I have had a go at the header box for this “top” article, the idea being that all the numerous articles on sustainability could fit somewhere into the broad categories here. Each page can then relate "upwards", "downwards" and "sideways" ... Let me know what you think and, if you like it in principle, and if you can think of a better classification of topics - I'm not good at these boxes so there is plenty of room for improvement in presentation - its very messy and ther are unsatisfactory headings and contents - but we can re-jig if you like the idea.. We can possibly increase the detail of contents in the nav bar at the bottom of the page for those not wishing to navigate through the system of articles. I still think it is a pity we lost all the loads of information we had in info boxes that we had for each section - but I can understand why. We would need "templates" for sub-pages too. Granitethighs (talk) 12:13, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

I quite like the current nav bar footer that is currently being used in the the article. However the new one that you have created (to the right) could be used in conjunction with the nav bar. Need to sort out suitable links first though. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 21:34, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Alan. I like the footer best as a format. If we do use the "Outline of sustainability" format, it should truly be a guide to sustainability, rather than a collection of links to weakly-related subjects. It could be useful as an aide to the reader, but we would have to be careful that it doesn't become overwhelming. Sunray (talk) 00:17, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
To put a finer point on what I said, above, I don't see the utility to having a link to the main articles on "Society" or "Economy". They have little to do with sustainability. Thus I wouldn't be in favour of it in its current format. Sunray (talk) 00:23, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
It's looking good, needs some tweaking though. Perhaps using the article's outline as a starting point? Nick carson (talk) 09:46, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
OK - overall it looks like we give this idea a rest for a while. Granitethighs (talk) 22:51, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Sentence in lead

The term or usage of well being in the article lead, was confusing what the article is about. Well being is often a personal choice as to what it is and is not, and in the way this term was used... twice, did not convey so much. I changed the sentence to more directly deal with the issue and the current time period [26]... that phrasing was brought up by another editor previously also as to questioning its use. skip sievert (talk) 00:10, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you are trying to say Skip. However, I looked at the lead and found teh following sentence "The natural world we interact in and the responsible use of natural resources becomes problematic due to many factors in the present time period in regard to sustainability issues. This is extremely clumsy and unclear - I'm not sure how it got there, or how it read originally, but it wont do as it stands. Granitethighs (talk) 01:32, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
How is it clumsy or unclear? It replaced this sentence For humans it is the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, which in turn depends on the wellbeing of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources.
I would say that sentence, the one replaced is not only clumsy but abstracted as to the term well being and how that is used. This sentence was previously attempted to being rewritten by other editors and the team did not allow for that either previously. Not sure how it got there G.T.? You do know how to read the edit history on the article? skip sievert (talk) 02:30, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
At this stage I'm a bit weary. Yes, the original sentence could be improved, I've no problems with that. I haven't time at present to explain in detail why the replacement is unsatisfactory, perhaps someone else can improve it or you could try different words. Let me just say this - at present, although you might not agree with the ideas, the language TP used in the Lead to summarise in a simple way such a complex of ideas and data is a real pleasure. It says what needs to be said in down-to-Earth, uncomplicated language that is fluent, grammatically uncontroversial and to the point. The sentence in question sticks out like a jagged rock in a smooth road. This is not a vendetta - I really had no idea who had written it when I was critical - it is simply poorly written in comparison to the surrounding text. Granitethighs (talk) 03:59, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
I tried to redo a little for cogent or clarity aspects [27]. New version = Negative effects due to human interaction in the natural world in regard to responsible use of natural resources has brought about dire warnings in regard to sustainability issues by a variety of science based groups.
That then is the change now from the original sentence For humans it is the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, which in turn depends on the wellbeing of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources. - skip sievert (talk) 16:01, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand the need for the re-wording of this sentence. The point it is trying to make is covered in more detail in paragraph #3 of the lead. I prefer the original wording as it is simpler and better expressed grammatically. Sunray (talk) 19:15, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I would prefer to retain the original sentence until we can find something that is clearly an improvement. This suggestion can, of course, be interpreted as "excluding new suggestions", operating a "closed shop" etc etc - sorry, I just think that, as it stands, the first sentence was better than its replacement. Granitethighs (talk) 22:33, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, but the original sentence was grammatically odd and mostly does not make sense For humans it is the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, which in turn depends on the wellbeing of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources. It uses the idea of well being for human measure... which is abstract and really open, as to interpreting and also uses well-being anthropomorphically in regard to using human emotion as to interpreting the earths feelings. Please leave it. The newer version. I can go back in the edit history if needed to show where outside of the team members have previously tried to change the sentence. A terrible degree of control is being exercised on the article by controlling content. skip sievert (talk) 23:14, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Gramatically odd? Please explain. As to the phrase "well-being of the natural world" being anthropomorphic, I don't think I agree. Ecology frequently refers to the "health" of ecosystems. The discipline of environmental ecology uses the terms "environmental health" and "environmental well-being" extensively. And the term "well-being of the natural world" gets about four million hits on google. I don't see a problem with the phrase, which seems much clearer and less repetitive than the one you have added. Finally, you have again referred to other editors as "controlling" this page. Quality control of the article is important. Great effort is spent on trying to make the article as good as it can be - editing poor grammar, requiring reliable sources and preventing vandalism. Please stop making personal attacks on the regular editors of this page. I will restore the original phrase until there is consensus to change it. Sunray (talk) 07:38, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

I changed the sentence slightly for clarity and re-added it.. Negative effects, due to human interaction in the natural world regarding the responsible use of natural resources, has brought about dire warnings in regard to sustainability issues by a variety of science based groups.

Working on edits cooperatively is a major part of the writing that goes on in Wikipedia articles. Making accusations and continually accusing people of this and that is counterproductive, and effectively has chased most all newcomers from the article. I made a general comment below on my feeling about the article page currently. skip sievert (talk) 16:55, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

A request for a change in direction on the article

Sign up team [28] I think we need outside opinions other than two players in the so called team. I suggested before the the usefulness of the team has maybe outlived itself, and perhaps the team has assumed way too much control on the article. The team here mostly rubber stamps their concept of consensus and Sunray, you were informed previously that excluding others from the editing process just because you formed a team outside of Wikipedia practice... is not justified. So I will revert, and please either tweak or edit improvements. It is noted that several of my edits were adopted recently only when pushed by Allan L. and they were bitterly and contentiously fought before then. I can provide the diffs, but the edit history is pretty apparent.

Remember when you called me out as a troll Sunray, and I complained and you were told to lay off making personal attacks??? [29] And do you and TravelPlanner remember opening up a sock puppet investigation [30] because another editor that was consequently chased off the article... a newby agreed with some edits of mine. You and Travelplanner and then Ohana accused me of having a meat puppet, all not true, but all nasty disruption to the project? Also making accusations... over and over and over about personal attacks is, making a personal attack. And you and G.T. engage in that pretty much 24/7 on this page in regard to discussion about content. Do you edit any other articles besides this one Sunray?... and a reminder that you or the team does not own the article. The requirement to assume good faith is not an excuse for uncooperative behavior. There is a limit to how long good faith can be extended to editors who are continually shown to be acting in a manner that is detrimental to the growth and improvement of the encyclopedia. I do think that applies to the editing work of the team in regard to control issues and lack of improvement or lack of other editors to edit this article.

Despite over a years worth of almost total control on this article it has gotten worse, and now seems stuck in limbo with 3 or 4 people in a closed circle with just about the same pov controlling content. A reminder that G.T. fought the changes by Alan recently and accused him also of rude or impolite behavior. That is what any new editor... (and all have given up here), that tried.... has faced with the special interest team... or faction team that has owned the article mostly for a good long time [31] - I would like to at this time again ask the team to disband so that the article can undergo the usual editing practice that is used on Wikipedia without the hurdles and constraints and hoop jumping currently in practice on the sustainability article. skip sievert (talk) 16:23, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

This is tendentious and disruptive in the extreme. You seem unable to drop that stick. My only comment on your allegations is the following: Editing of the article is, and always has been, open. Everyone is invited to join the FA Project here. The regular editors have frequently reiterated our encouragement of other editors to join in and have been responsive to their suggestions (including two peer reviews). Perhaps if there was less disruption of these pages by you, more would be encouraged to join in. Sunray (talk) 17:27, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I did not give you permission to change the section title [32] - Do not do that again please, and make it into an attack vehicle. Again you have not constructively responded. There is a stalled G.A. project going on these days. Do not use F.A. as a defense a year into the team editing. The article could be nicely remade in short order if it were not controlled by the editing team in my opinion. Do not accuse other editors on the talk page unjustly. I have just asked you not to do that and you just did it again.
It is a fact that any attempts at editing this article by outside of team members is subjected to multiple hoop jumping. Name calling is not addressing the issues raised. Wikipedia:Civility does not mean constantly calling up supposed guidelines in a Wikipedia:Civil POV pushing manner. Do not call other editors disruptive that are concerned about the article, and making positive edits. I have made a request that the team dissolve because of multiple editing issues. Thats all. Don't take it personally. The article just is not improving and is stalled in my opinion, and would benefit by less control because of the closed (my perception) pov, in regard to the team. skip sievert (talk) 17:39, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Editing of the article is, and always has been, open. Agreed. This has only ever been questioned by Skip. Consensus is the only way we can proceed when there are diverse views. Like a spoiled child insisting it get his own way it seems he has embarked on a deliberate path of disruptive editing. Granitethighs (talk) 00:49, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
I can give multiple diffs that says that is not true. Baiting or taunting other editors is not suggested. That means name calling. Like you just did. The two of you are only making personal attacks, not constructively talking about issues being brought up above. You think it is funny or clever to call another editor a spoiled child? It is not clever to be rude on Wikipedia just because you can't see the other people involved having value as to what they are saying. I noticed someone tried to edit the article again today and it was dismissively reverted. The information was interesting but not formatted or written well. It could of been moved and redone. Instead it was just tossed with an edit summary by G.T. of this Undid incoherent sentence). Not a great way to greet another editor that was trying to do something positive. It could have been reworked and moved. If the article were more open someone probably would have done that. - skip sievert (talk) 03:24, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
I apologise - my point was that, for better or worse, your view is in the minority. Repeated complaining is unproductive; in fact it is [WP:DISRUPTIVE|disruptive editing]]. Granitethighs (talk) 05:30, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
No excuse for the behavior in regard to this discussion page anymore. Civility is part of Wikipedia's code-of-conduct. Also you just did it again... called me a disruptive editor and you and Sunray are acting in a tagteam fashion reverting the article. This edit improved the article in my opinion and it has not been discussed or cooperatively edited together [33]. You and Sunray are showing a nonstop pattern of attacking people that try to change the article like this [34] including changing the section title to a derogatory statement. skip sievert (talk) 23:26, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Editing this article

I think there is a problem with access here in the article as to allowing other people outside the team to make constructive edits, and also a major problem with civility issues. The article is very closed as to pov, though recently another editor implemented some of my edit suggestions in the Transition section. I have brought this to the attention of an Admin. ed. here [35]. This is the same person picked at random originally that did some conflict resolution previously about the article [36].

I hate doing this again but I do believe the article is suffering negative effects of limiting editing by the sign up team which mostly manifests itself as two or three editors and occasionally more. After a couple of reversions and no real discussion, lots of name calling by the team members, like repeated accusations, which are not true. I am tired of the attitude here, and what is wrong with an edit like this [37] - Participatory editing works the best on articles. You can have your team yes, but I wish that guidelines take precedence, and that includes civility guidelines. skip sievert (talk) 00:19, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

I welcome new editors; conflict resolution; peer reviews; comments from admins; different POV - all good.
1RR This user prefers discussing changes on the talkpage rather than engaging in an edit war.

Granitethighs (talk) 01:50, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Lead area

This sourced information was removed from the article [38]. A sentence was rewritten and a ref/note was provided. Removing sourced information and information that is configured to give good information seems counter productive. Also it was implied in the edit summary, and other edit summaries that people that disagree or edit the article are edit warring which is not the case. Articles on Wikipedia are not exclusionary. People edit articles to improve information. The recent spate of name calling done by G.T. it is noted... he is the person being accusatory again, and reverting. Two people edit in tandem in the this article in an ownership way. Sunray and Granitethighs. This is a pattern. A tag team is formed when two or more editors coordinate their edits in a way that is disruptive to an article or to the project. Ownership issues are arisen on the article because of the issues raised about allowing others access to editing. If you do not want your writing to be edited, then do not submit it here. The whole point of a project like Wikipedia is that it is open and not closed to good faith editors that are making improvements. skip sievert (talk) 03:31, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

You may misunderstand how consensus works. When you are the only one insisting on something and no other editors agree, consensus is against you. As this often seems to happen, I have some empathy for your plight. However, consensus is a core policy and it almost always works on Wikipedia. I'm sorry that no other editors supported your recent edit, but I commend your dedication. On the other hand, you continue to insist that a small number of editors "control" the article. Not so. However, we do not have enough people working on this article and we are very open to new editors joining. Sunray (talk) 00:00, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
New editors do not have to join anything to edit. The sign up is a group of people that exert too much control on this article by reinforcing a group pov that in my view prevents others from joining in the editing process easily as on other articles. Two people in an organized editing team that edit material in tandem is not a consensus nor is four for the same reason, since the sign group seem to share a lot of the same direction as to thought. It is noted that I have written and edited components of this article in the past that are very much still there as to sourcing and material and recently another editor made some of my edits in an effort to remove some over the top pov connected with politics and the article. skip sievert (talk) 02:23, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Consensus is the best solution that a group of editors can achieve at a given time. Editorial teams working collaboratively on articles, surely, would generally be small in number. Consensus would also generally, but not always, be a majority view. When you are the only one insisting on something and no other editors agree, consensus is against you - until a new consensus is reached. No-one is being excluded from editing or expressing their views on this article. "Sign-up's" for projects etc. are the norm on Wikipedia: Alan has just established a "sign-up" for "Wikiproject Sustainability Task force" which you, Skip, have signed. Does that mean that GT, Skip and AL (signees) are a "controlling tag team"? I agree with Sunray, you seem to not understand how consensus works. Granitethighs (talk) 04:09, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:No personal attacks is an issue on this page, consistently, editing information, is not discussed, but singling out unrelated issues has been, as to rationale` of editing. Thanks, but could you please stop giving your opinion on me as to how you think my editing skills are or my ability to understand? Wikipedia:Avoid personal remarks. This follows a pattern of personal attacks on users that question the editing sign up team on the article [39] like refactoring my concern into an attack by Sunray in a category heading even. How can the opinion of two people that edit in tandem be considered consensus, and the point I made of my edits in the article is not taken. skip sievert (talk) 20:22, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
I have not found much engagement as to the actual editing aspects of changing the lead which I have done in this edit that rephrases a sentence. Unless a good argument is given as to why the prior edit is better I think this sourced information is more direct and contains better presentation of the idea trying to be given. It also connects with some interesting information that is connected to the field [40] - Reverting information that is sourced and creatively done, and follows guidelines is not suggested. skip sievert (talk) 20:42, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
The original sentence expresses its subject in a simple uncomplicated way in keeping with the other language in the lead. The new phrase is complex, ungrammatical, clearly written in a different style, and IMO injects an alarmist tone that is not appropriate at this stage in the article. As a point of interest Sunray and I have disagreed on this matter. I do not like the use of newscasts as references: Sunray has approved of them elsewhere in the article. That is fine. We have both agreed that this new form of sentence is not an improvement. Granitethighs (talk) 20:57, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Two people tag editing in a team is not consensus.The sentence about well being does not make a lot of sense in regard to either people or the planet. With people it is a value judgment as to what it is or means, and in regard to the planet it does not really make sense to give the planet human feeling. [41]. You reverted sourced information that adds to the article. skip sievert (talk) 05:05, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
The wording of the lead was established by consensus and a great deal of discussion. You were the lone person who disagreed with parts of it. Since then you have tried to change the lead sentence and, more recently, the last sentence of the first paragraph. As GT points out, your proposed change is ungrammatical and written in a different style. As I pointed out, it repeats information which occurs later in the lead. The planet "feeling' stuff is just your POV. How about you drop it now? Sunray (talk) 06:54, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
“Tag editing” is a derisive and inciteful term. Regular editors on this site are Sunray, Skip and GT with TP and Nick occasionally making comments. At present Sunray and GT believe the original sentence to be more apt than its proposed replacement. They happen to agree on this. Agreement between two people does not constitute a “tag team”. All and any other editors are welcome to comment. At present the majority perception is that the new sentence is not an “improvement”.Granitethighs (talk) 07:29, 8 September 2009 (UTC)