Talk:Sustainability/Archive 8

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Archive 7 Archive 8 Archive 9

Outline again

You will notice my voice getting a little more shrill as my time runs out.

This is the latest (more or less) as I understand it - still under development

History
Early awareness
Sustainable development Popularization and acceptance
Sustainability Turn into history, or move elsewhere
Sustainability science Recent developments

These were never discussed before being put up, and were a shock when I first saw them. They do not fit the historical sense of that section, they serve as a loud promotional tool for POVs, and to call a subsection of the History (of sustainability) Sustainability is surely inappropriate. I am not sure if that section belongs there in the first place: it is essayish somewhat, and veers away from the history focus. My suggested theme groups above.

Definition, organizing principles
? Sustainable development?

What happened to my Action-guiding principles? I just realized they fell thru the cracks. How can good decisions be made without having clarity on those? I am reading a book on farm management for sustainability and they use several to very good effect.

? Environmental sustainability
Human impact on the biosphere
Managing human impact
Direct impacts
Oceans
Atmosphere
Land
Biodiversity
Indirect impacts
Production, consumption, technology
Energy
Water
Materials
Food
Waste
Measuring sustainability
Global consensus
Obstacles to sustainability
Transition to sustainability

VB - following your suggestion I've added the phosphorus cycle - see above. Thanks! Looks great.

  • You may have noticed that the Wikipedia economic community has become interested in this article (see banner at top of page) which I see as a good thing. I suspect that a part (if not all) of this interest is because of the section "Decoupling environmental degradation and economic growth". VB this hits directly at much that you have been saying. Because it contains the word "economics" does not mean that it should be left out. Perhaps... when I read it it seemed so fuzzy I did not understand what it was trying to accomplish.In my humble opinion it is right at the core of sustainability, however it is perceived or defined. I still think there is a place for all the headings in the text remaining, especially this one. Factors like globalization, affluence, poverty and indeed all that is mentioned in the last headings were put in because they relate very strongly to sustainability - they are not easily added to the existing sections and deserve separate treatment. We might even get the Wikipedia sociologists, politicians and geographers putting their banners at the top too.

Granitethighs (talk) 05:24, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Granitethighs (talk) 04:53, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Sustainability science.

The whole exercise we are going through now - trying to understand what sustainability means, how it should be presented to people, how it is to be achieved or attempted, how it is to be measured, and so on - is being repeated around the world in thousands of education institutions, sometimes as part of conservation biology, or environmental science, environmental studies, geography or part of an ecology course - and so on. Where it is taken perhaps a bit more seriously it is being treated as an independent discipline called Sustainability Science. To leave this out of an encyclopaedia article on sustainability would be a major omission. At present in this article it occupies a small space under History. That is fine by me. VB I strongly suggest that although this may be moved or whatever - it should not be left out. Ok, that is fine by me.This point was made in the very early discussion pages of the former article on Sustainability - that it did not even mention Sustainability Science. I would simply like to make the point that descriptive "facts" like this are as important in this article (if not more so) than engaging in a protracted discussion of POV. Granitethighs (talk) 06:11, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

I have added the two scratchpads to the main article with all the recommended changes incorporated. I changed "Safeguarding the biosphere" to "Protecting the biosphere" - I hope that is OK VB. Your thesaurus ideas were great. I have replaced every reference to "management" so we dont have to contend with that word, and removed every mention of "pipes". :-) You know, I liked the power of that analogy, I just wished it could refer to the living world and not to plumbing.

Granitethighs (talk) 09:33, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

V.B. (talk) 18:48, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

External links

I am going to add some external links, which it does not seem to have much of. For starters this one... by M. King Hubbert geo-scientist ... originator of peak oil theory and a bunch of other things * M. King Hubbert on the Nature of Growth. 1974 ---- This is a very basic and integral writing concerning sustainability and growth. skip sievert (talk) 21:44, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree, a basic resource. Other links of that quality would surely be welcome. Sunray (talk) 23:07, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Focus

I like this article.. but it seems to be unfocused.. with a lot of great info.. but not presented well. Lets make a concerted effort to focus the information. Obviously without sustainability.. we are all dead. I have added a bunch of other wiki links articles... maybe that will help.. if people look at those, to focus in on important information. A couple of things to focus on .. Natural resource economics... and Ecological economics... whether we like it or not .. this is tied into economics.... and the Price system how ever.. Energy economics offer some rather interesting concepts off the present merry go round ... of growth. The article presently is cluttered.
—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Skipsievert (talkcontribs) . 20:33, 2008-09-05 (UTC)

Thanks for your comment on focus. Yes, it is cluttered. We've got a ways to go yet. The article will need a good edit and some re-writing to make it flow better. I agree that natural resource economics and ecological economics should be included. Problem is space. The article is already large enough. How about writing a paragraph that includes these links? Sunray (talk) 05:19, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Uh-oh. Skipsievert has been running amok in there. No more Earth flag, sections we cleaned up gone... yikes, Skip, maybe you can talk to us before doing spring cleaning? V.B. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 4.228.183.125 (talk) 05:25, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
No need to elaborate on them maybe for now... I just put the wiki article links in the see also section .. that may be enough... Or... they could be integrated into existing information on article very easily...that is Natural resource economics... and Ecological economics in the lead or elsewhere. Just being in the see also section is good though. skip sievert (talk) 17:27, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Regroup

There are now quite a few ideas and loose threads floating around. I will try and put them together here (please add things I will inevitably leave out) so that we can archive the above and regroup.

Firstly, the outline, this is the latest:

History
Early awareness
Sustainable development Popularization and acceptance
Sustainability Turn into history, or move elsewhere
Sustainability science Recent developments

These were never discussed before being put up, and were a shock when I first saw them. They do not fit the historical sense of that section, they serve as a loud promotional tool for POVs, and to call a subsection of the History (of sustainability) Sustainability is surely inappropriate. I am not sure if that section belongs there in the first place: it is essayish somewhat, and veers away from the history focus. My suggested theme groups above.

Definition, organizing principles
? Sustainable development?

What happened to my Action-guiding principles? I just realized they fell thru the cracks. How can good decisions be made without having clarity on those? I am reading a book on farm management for sustainability and they use several to very good effect.

? Environmental sustainability
Human impact on the biosphere
Managing human impact
Direct impacts
Oceans
Atmosphere
Land
Biodiversity
Indirect impacts
Production, consumption, technology
Energy
Water
Materials
Food
Waste
Measuring sustainability
Global consensus
Obstacles to sustainability
Transition to sustainability

I will make a number of points I think have been raised and that we need to address:

  • The History section is still uneven. I agree with VB that we have good coverage of Sustainable development and the other sections are deficient, either because they are more POV than history, or because they are not history at all. We could also make the order of headings chronological, starting with Sustainability (or Environmental Sustainability - see below) and then passing through to SScience and I like VBs headings here - maybe not as headings but as a suggestion of the way the contents can flow. As I said before I think each of the ideas of SD, sustainability and Sustainability Science are important but the point needs to be made that they "intergrade". Sustainability Science may seem a bit of an odd man out here but I think that there is every likelihood it will get increasing prominence as time goes on. I could make the bit on SS "sound" a bit more historical (or maybe it could go somewhere else). I would dearly like the Sustainability section to be stronger. This could be done with a good brief history that shows how it has followed its own but albeit similar (and prior) path to SD. My preference would be for a clear statement of its "vision" rather than an attack on SD or a long POV discussion. If the statement about Sustainability in relation to SD is clear and strong people will make up their own minds. This needs to be convincing though, not just a quick story to fill the space. I dont know that I can help here in the time available but VB was going to gather some forces on this topic and has suggested some ideas.
  • I like the idea of a section on Environmental Sustainability but, again, distinctions between this and other things need to be as clear as possible. One option that dawned on me was that, if it was acceptable to the group, we could simply substitute "environmental sustainability" for what we have been calling "sustainability" - after all I think this is where we all seem to be coming from and it immediately makes the distinction between "sustainability in relation to development" and "sustainability in relation to the environment". But my mind clouds over as to whether this is solving problems or making others. Anyway, I think it is an option. What do you think?
  • I am unsure about the necessity for a separate heading on SD. As VB has said it already has been given plenty of space and there is a strong POV section dealing with environmental concerns about it. I actually dont think we need any more on SD, although we could re-organise where we put what we have already got.
  • You (VB & Sunray) have been very accepting of the two sections on direct and indirect human impacts on the environment and the headings within these sections - but to my mind they are a way of dealing with an incredible degree of complexity in a logical way. From my point of view we just need to keep the information in these sections as pricise, succinct, informative and relevant as possible, this kind of editing can occur over time - bearing in mind our considerations about "problems" and "solutions".
  • There are the headings in the current article on "Extinctions" and "Feral organisms". VB perhaps there is a place for a "biodiversity" heading somewhere that can include these headings. The reason they went into the current article was that we will have no biodiversity if we drive everything into extinction (an unsustainable option). Also many biologists now consider that feral organisms are the greatest threat to biodiversity perhaps after climate change although land clearing is still a major issue of course.
  • Economics. A plea over "social" and "economic" sections. Let me explain. A year or two ago and I would have said social and economic factors were almost irrelevant to sustainability and certainly of no interest to me. If Global Security were mentioned in relation to sustainability I would have assumed the neo-cons were taking over the agenda. However, for what it is worth, I am now convinced that unless the broad concepts and goals of "environmental sustainability" are absorbed by the economic system we are all doomed (assuming we are not doomed already). We are generating interest from economists and surely this is good. I also think we have the balance right in terms of the economic content of the article - maybe someone knows an environmental economist who could tweak the language and ideas a bit because they could be expressed in a less "fluffy" way, as you point out VB. Anyway, I am suggesting we leave in the bit on "Decoupling ..." although it might need adjustment - and the heading would not be Economic Pillar - possibly Economic Considerations - or somesuch. What do you think?
  • Society. The current article has headings on affluence, globalization, global security and the like. They all sound very distant from biodiversity and environmental sustainability.

but if the world is in conflict the environment will be the last consideration. I would also point out that we are heading into the real possibility of resource wars as things run out and all this has the potential to impact heavily on sustainability (of whatever persuasion). I am running out of time but am prepared to defend each of the headings in the current article. It would help if you could let me know what you think about this so that we can discuss it all - but I've said enough already. What do you think?

If I have time I will put up another scratchpad today. Granitethighs (talk) 02:33, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

More thoughts on the History section

Hi Skip, good to have you aboard. Let me tell you a story. I am newish to Wikipedia and rewrote what I thought was un "unfocussed" article but was soon reminded that the previous article had involved a lot of work. Because I had warned people of my intentions in doing a rewrite my contribution was allowed to remain but we have subsequently worked closely together in the improvement of this page and are presently working systematically through the current content. I have a number of suggestions.

1. Read the archived discussion so that you understand why the current page looks the way it does - do not automatically assume that others have not thought about content, presentation etc.

2. Before you make changes discuss them here, on this page. You might think the Earth Flag is uninteresting, I think a young girl looking for tadpoles in the mud is uninteresting, unimportant, and not appropriate to the character and content of this article. We can discuss our difference of opinion here.

3. You might think the current article is unfocussed and cluttered but I fail to see how placing all your economic information improves this situation - it only makes it worse - assuming it is cluttered in the first place.

4. You have inserted a diagram (Venn circles) of sustainable development. This was recently removed after considerable discussion about its merits and problems. You will find the discussion in the archives. By consensus it was considered inappropriate to this particular article.

5. Why was the phosphorus cycle removed?6. Why was "Barriers to sustainability removed"?Why was "Barriers to sustainability removed"?


6. Why was "Barriers to sustainability removed"?Why was "Barriers to sustainability removed"?

7. All of the above considerations apply to the addition and removal of images and their captions.

Although I am really pleased to have someone like yourself taking an interest in this page (and I also think that you have a valuable contribution to make) I nevertheless propose that your changes be reverted and that, like other people contributing to this article, you discuss on this page what you would like to do before carrying it out.

Granitethighs (talk) 09:26, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

I second that. Though I do like a few of the changes (definitely NOT the earth flag removal!), and I think the three of us maybe got too bogged down in ... something. I too vote for revert and examining Skip's changes one by one. I am going to take a few days off and reconceptualize. This has been a very challenging collaboration, and I thank you both. Good to see we have another person pitching in. GT, have a pleasant and restful holiday, and come back, y'hear?! :-)
Skipsievert, welcome, and I hope you get to read some of our discussion to get a sense of what we've been trying to do here. V.B. (talk) 14:42, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Thank you V.B. I will indeed. what I have tried to do is provide a little refocus... now what I have done, can be sorted through... added to and discarded where fitting. Energy is stressed now and the economics... of energy in general... what may be the burning issue of sustainability in many ways. Also... I have tried to remove things that focus to much on slogan or commercial connection. The U.N. is good in a lot of ways as to information gathering... so I left their flags for now and images... mostly it is their info that is needed and not their advertising themselves... bottom line... the U.N. could be viewed as being controlled in many ways by business and corporations... and politics... things that are not always friendly to sustainability ... but toward money making and business. I think this article can be whittled down a lot more and focused a lot more... instead of sprawling with connected but disjointed info.. skip sievert (talk) 14:51, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
I totally agree with what you say about the UN and its images. It's been an irritant. Basically, what happened, we reached an unfinished interim agreement about the History section, and I am waiting for some materials to continue with it. V.B. (talk) 14:57, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
The U.N. as said publishes a lot of good data... and does lots of good things in the realm of the mainstream, that is useful here... we just do not want to be a vehicle of promoting them... because that gets political possibly... and not neutral.. although most view them as mainstream.. they could be positively or negatively viewed, but should not be set up as an end all and be all for sustainability. It is controlled by politicians, not scientists.
I was thinking that the history section did not contain very much... an not information from the far past... such as the sustainability say of the farming land in Sumer or Egypt... or issues on resource destruction on a place like Easter Island for instance.. or things of that nature in past history, etc. I would also appreciate it if someone could change the article heading here to Article part 1 or something.. instead of my avatar name above.. I really do not like being focused on instead of the article. skip sievert (talk) 21:45, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

The article

Suspend your judgement just a bit and look at the adds and subtractions carefully. The phosphorus cycle would be good to add back in ... fitting in with the others... that was a format thing... taking it out .. and it can go back in for obvious reasons. Earth Flag stuff looks political... How much do they cost and where do you order them? The focus is on sustainability and not flags that promote something that can be purchased. The geo scientist is doing something real. I think a young girl looking for tadpoles in the mud is uninteresting, unimportant, and not appropriate to the character and content of this article. We can discuss our difference of opinion here. Try reading the caption... this is an earth scientist monitoring the environment, so I assume you are not looking at the caption. This is a good lead picture here and not a flag that is possibly a commercial enterprise.

3. You might think the current article is unfocussed and cluttered but I fail to see how placing all your economic information improves this situation Whether we like it or not economics is integral to sustainability and if any thing should be stressed even further. The economics of energy balance especially, needs to be stressed here, also environmental economics and ecological economics thermoeconomics econophysics etc.

The sustainability picture not appropriate for the sustainability article? That does not make sense. This is all about balance... that is what sustainability means and is. Obviously no chart or diagram is perfect... and zen for any thing... but this gets the ideas across and some of the key aspects.

6. Why was "Barriers to sustainability removed"?Why was "Barriers to sustainability removed"? It seemed unfocused, and preachy and not cited much or reference much. P.S. Do not focus on me such as in the talk page as a caption. This has nothing to do with me ... it is about content .. information .. and format etc. I am not notable and do not care to be focused on. Thanks. I put the phos. cycle picture back in .. it throws the format off a bit and it is not colored like the rest... which it would be better if it was... maybe someone is working on that? Image:phoscycle-EPA.jpg|Phosphorus cycle skip sievert (talk) 14:30, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

The three pillars of sustainability
The reason we removed the Venn diagram is that this symbol of sustainable development, one of the symbols anyways, though popular, is that it creates the impression (and fosters the thinking) that humans (social and economic sphere) are independent of the ecological sphere. The folks in the SD article have been looking for a diagram that nests the social/economic within the environmental, but so far they have not found it. V.B. (talk) 14:52, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Who's we? I don't recall a vote. Sunray (talk) 17:56, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Pardon... but no.. it does not give that impression as you say... you see everything in the diagram is over lapped and tied together or integral to the other bits. If you look at the diagram you will see that sustainability is at the center and heart of it also... all the various bits and pieces are connected in overlapping constructs. As said it may not be perfect... but all the issues stated in it are integral. If it is updated fine. I think it works well now. If it is updated that is even better. It hits the key areas.. is pleasant to look at also. It is rare to find something so succinctly connected to topic. I would say very strongly that should be used. It hits all the fine points ... almost. Perfect? No. Very good? Yes. skip sievert (talk) 14:57, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
It may be pleasant to look at, :-), but it's got it seriously wrong. Sustainability is far more than a little place where it all overlaps, while the plunder and destruction goes on in the outlying areas, no? V.B. (talk) 15:03, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't see what you are referring to that "destruction goes on in the outlying areas." I would have thought that the interpretation would be more like: "the outlying areas are less sustainable." Sunray (talk) 17:56, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
That is not my point about pleasantness although it is. As far as The reason we removed the Venn diagram is that this symbol of sustainable development, one of the symbols anyways, though popular, is that it creates the impression (and fosters the thinking) that humans (social and economic sphere) are independent of the ecological sphere. No it does not. Any one that is interested in these subjects are led to new information by examining the diagram. The only impression I get from it is that it is presenting very direct and integral information. I don't think we are engaged in a creating impression exercise with it. It is just information. As far as foster thinking of independence of ecological sphere...?? That really does not make sense to me (my opinion). It brings focus to that very issue.. in its own terms. So how could that possibly be bad? Notice the words bearable and equatable and viable... this is very important.. it says a lot. Keep in mind that economic does not always refer to money now.. Ecological economics is focused on environment over money. It uses environment as an arbiter of choice ... not growth or money. This is important to focus on ecological economics... for that reason in this article. skip sievert (talk) 15:12, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
I do not recall a decision to remove the Venn diagram from the article. Certainly I didn't get to speak about it. I think it is a case of appropriation that we are discussing here. Just because the diagram has been appropriated by the SD crowd, does not mean it is not valid as an exposition of sustainability. I think it is one of the best graphic representations of the problematic of sustainability yet produced. It summarizes a great deal of information, seemingly simply. For many it can be invaluable in helping understand the factors involved in becoming more sustainable. I vote to keep it, but if others disagree, let's continue this discussion. Sunray (talk) 17:56, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
I misspoke. We did discuss the Venn diagram briefly, as one of the ways to portray the issues. I was critical of it. I did not remove it. -- I think the word "bearable" sums up part of my objection. Does that mean the rest of the area is "unbearable"? Apparently. The Venn diagram is a tool of the (conventional wing of) sustainable development people, and they are 95% about greenwashing. Bah humbug. Skip: no diagram is "just information" -- they all are a way of portraying info and all have a bias one way or another, even if the only bias is oversimplification. This one certainly has more. The best diagram to my way of thinking is the Egg of well-being. Humans, within the ecosystem, with arrows signifying feedback loops. There is also the Pyramid of sustainability, but that is the worst of them all, IMO. The second best is the concentric circles diagram, much like the Venn, but accurately depicting the dependencies. We could do a section on the comparison, but perhaps that is the job of the SD article. V.B. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 4.228.183.206 (talk) 00:27, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Here is a page that shows the concentric circles diagram and why it works so well. http://www.sustainablepittsburgh.org/NewFrontPage/What_Is_Sustainable_Development.html

V.B. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 4.228.183.86 (talk) 14:21, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Lead picture

Environmental scientist sampling water. Environmental science is the study of interactions among physical, chemical, and biological components of the environment. Environmental Science provides an integrated, quantitative, and interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental systems

Tried to write a better descriptive passage under the picture on top. The original one there did not mention much information as to subject. Now it has some connectors to other info. skip sievert (talk) 16:08, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

I certainly agree that we need a new picture for the lead (since the Blue Planet pic has been repeated again in the article). However, the water sampling picture does not give the reader a sense of what sustainability is all about. The acquisition of environmental science information may be one of the bases of sustainability - though in many cases water sampling is done purely for population safety reasons and serves to justify the status quo: "Our water is the best in the world, no cause for concern..." I would like to hear from others on this. But my vote would be to retain the Blue Planet image until a more appropriate picture can be found. One good source of pictures might be from permaculture because it is a field that is actively experimenting with, and implementing, more sustainable approaches. Sunray (talk) 17:41, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
The permaculture page is really very interesting and will be added to the See also section here... it has very good information and is a direct relative of this article. I do not see any pictures that would make a good lead there though. The Sustainability diagram/picture would make a fine lead also. I like the science aspect of the picture that is there now though. These issues are going to be understood and arbitrated by science... and I would like to see the article focus on science and energy much more. Which reminds me that we need information from these people on the article http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/research/themes/carbon/ as an external link or citation source. This Noaa site is fantastic... and straight science. Please everyone here take a close look at it. skip sievert (talk) 22:05, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
I didn't mean pictures from the permaculture article, but rather from that field. The NOAA site is an excellent resource. Now, back to the picture you added. The reader should be able to look at a picture in the lead and get some idea about the subject. My question is: What does the picture tell us about sustainability? Sunray (talk) 23:05, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
The Blue Planet may be a cliché, but it is a powerful, graceful, always memorable one that draws us to a wide perspective from which we can see something of the whole issue - the beauty, vulnerability and interconnectedness of the earth and it's habitats. Notwithstanding your view of Earth Flag Skip, which is a separate issue, I think the image (not the flag) is the proper one to associate with sustainability. It needs no words, or very few, and doesn't need a reference to the Earth Flag. I have used it elsewhere in Wikipedia, leveraging off what I thought was an association reinforced by the main article on sustainability. A vague picture of a young woman squatting on what appears to be some garden or stream litter, or tadpoling, as Granitethighs suggested, which needs a long, complicated description to explain why it has some relation to sustainability, is no substitute. --Geronimo20 (talk) 20:40, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Very eloquent and persuasive Geronimo, well said. Granitethighs (talk) 00:54, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Blue Marble composite images generated by NASA in 2001 (left) and 2002 (right).
Apparently you also are having trouble accepting a young women as a scientist doing a real job? Romantic symbolism aside... this picture is doing something and it is saying something. This picture is a scientist... not doing something vague... she is taking a test sample.. Understand? She is not squatting... she is bending down to test the water... do you know the reference as women squatting and what that usually refers to?? Some gardenor stream litter or tadpoling... that is just plain not funny... at all. In case you did not notice the Earth picture is already on the article if you scroll down a bit... so that argument is a little weak. Maybe a separate one could also be used near the top though. By the way... those are leaves.. not litter. Here is a version of the picture you are talking about... minus any flag influence. It may be over kill to have it again on the article ... but lets see. I put the double picture in the Sustainable development portion of the article... that seems like a good place... and it might even give the desired message... maybe that you were getting at. It could use some article link or something though as a connector in the caption. skip sievert (talk) 21:09, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
You haven't addressed my concerns. What does this picture tell us about sustainability? Sunray (talk) 21:36, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
If we are to disagree Skipsievert, please be civil and confine the disagreement to the issues. Perhaps English is not your first language? Your scientist is "squatting", not "bending", and loose leaves in a garden or stream bed are "litter". Your associations are your own ones, not particularly Western ones. --Geronimo20 (talk) 21:38, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Frankly, I admit this picture is unclear without description. If I remove the description, it looks like she's dropping a leaf into the water (or dropping something into the water) OhanaUnitedTalk page 22:12, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
I support going with the NASA picture. Does not have to be a flag. V.B. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 4.228.183.206 (talk) 00:13, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
A supermajority says go with NASA (at least for now). As GT says, we will get to images further on in our process. I will reinsert the NASA pic now. Sunray (talk) 01:26, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Procedure

I'm off for over a month or so but, having invested a great deal of time and effort in the current article, I would like to say a few things, seeing as this is my last chance for a while. Although I have invested a lot in this article (time, emotion, thought, energy) I realize that it is a collective effort. One aspect of this is that any changes are discussed by the group before being put up on the main page. Sudden changes are very startling when, after long discussion and consensus between a group of people, someone completely alters an agreed section ... no matter how reasonable that person might think they are being. I say this from the experience of being an uncompromising startler myself back in the bad old days.

The next issue is - if everybody is throwing in thoughts on all aspects of an article, from the pics to captions, content, politics, economics, sociology etc. then it is unlikely that there will be much progress. You can Skip the archives (excuse the pun) if I explain some history of the article. As this article evolved it was agreed by those in what might be called the "sustainability discussion group" (those who used this discussion page) that there would be an attempt to convert this article into a GA or Feature article and, by consensus, an outline or work plan was set up to achieve this. This has been placed at the top of this page. As you will see the group feels it has established, according to good Wikipedia procedure, the lead (introduction) and Definition sections - they have the ticks. Good headway is being made on other sections. It has been agreed that there is a degree of "clutter" (described as a "link farm") and this is being systematically addressed. Also, as people become concerned about the picture at the top, let me point out that the pictures and their captions were agreed as a distinct phase of this article's reorganisation. Before I am accused of being some sort of fascist who thinks he owns this article, I am simply suggesting that progress will be much more rapid and effective if we tackle one thing at a time in a systematic way - a 'first pass' of content and presentation if you like - with the goal of a Featured Article. That means an ordered discussion topic by topic, reaching a consensus as far as possible (an "agreed" way forward for each) before it is put up on the main page. An outline has already been established but is open to change. And of course, the article will never be "final", but it can be a valuable foundation for others to build on. The alternative seems to be an extended and disorganised shouting match.

Bye and good luck. See you in about 5-6 weeks.

Granitethighs (talk) 00:36, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Well said. Travel light, be open, via con dios. Sunray (talk) 01:22, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Phew, I thought you are saying that you're quitting. Oh well, see you in a bit. OhanaUnitedTalk page 06:25, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Recent changes to lead

skip sievert (talk) has been making changes to the lead, seemingly unaware of the project that is going on here (despite the banner at the top of the article directing folks to the talk page). skip sievert: Please take a look at the "To do" list at the top of the page to see what needs working on. The process we have agreed on is to propose changes here. Other editors will comment, or work on them. When there is consensus, the changes go into the article. Sunray (talk) 03:57, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Not a problem. I am just an outside observer and not part of the clique. I try to stay factual and not go by opinion, but every human has their biases I suppose. Wiki is known to be a place to not get involved in, unless you are willing to have your edits mercilessly edited. As an outside perspective person... I would say this article is beginning to look pretty good.. although it could use more focus and winnowing down. skip sievert (talk) 04:12, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
I believe the scope and major contents are already complete. We are just refining phrases. And I believe that outside perspective doesn't really contribute much or provides the key driving force. A good example is the old version of this article. Yah, go ahead and let any insider and outsider to edit it, the result is a mess (hovering between start-class and C-class) that repeats itself in different sections or misses the point. Sustainability is broad but, contrary to popular belief, is a professional topic. It brings the topic experts in each field to gather together and solve a global problem. OhanaUnitedTalk page 06:35, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Maybe... but the article before was suffering from terminal paralysis, looked crummy and was seemingly controlled by a couple three people that refused change. The article now has some pretty good focus... before it did not really talk about economics... or energy that much... and those are critical. I think the warning disclaimer what ever it is, above... is probably counter productive, and should be taken off... right now... and a more welcoming banner stuck up in its place... like something about improving the article and asking for help. The article should be factual and present good information. That is not a big deal to do... instead ... it appeared as said, that the same ground was being scratched over and over and the debate seemed dominated by a few. I suggest the warning or what ever it is, be taken off this article and people be encouraged to edit it... boldly. That is the only reason it looks better now... because people are getting their hands dirty... that is the way to have debate... not getting bogged down on a talk page. ... but actually trying to improve the article with multiple thoughts and ideas... being worked out eventually on the talk page (my opinion). skip sievert (talk) 16:47, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Excuse me? Calling three people that refused to change when the fact is that it was you who is acting against the consensus. You just jumped into the article and messing around with it. You have showed your POV-pushing attitude before and blocked 3 times before. OhanaUnitedTalk page 00:03, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Please remove the above. Picking fights is not the purpose here. Please do not fling the past around in this unrelated situation.... the reason I was blocked before is complicated and you misrepresent it by the above. I was dealing with a cabal of people that controlled a walled garden of articles with one main one that they connected every thing to. That main article has since been deleted because of this among other things http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:VSCA ... this is the article http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ALog&type=delete&user=&page=Network_of_European_Technocrats ... and I really would rather not get into this stuff blog fashion here ... but if you present information that is negative I have a right to defend my self. I came here in good faith to improve the article... and do not like being accosted like you have just done, you are acting like you are trying to pick a fight (my opinion). The majority of my edits were adopted here because they focused and improved the article. That is a fact, if you examine the page history. I have no desire or interest in being petty or egotistical here. I request you remove ... as said the above... and this comment also. skip sievert (talk) 02:40, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Citing AGF policy and calling me picking a fight in the same comment is frankly, quite ironic. OhanaUnitedTalk page 04:25, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
I love Wikipedia Admins. Dcstream (talk) 21:01, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

History section

I've been thinking that maybe we shouldn't have subsection headings in the history section. I think it is confusing to readers to see headings like "Sustainability" (which is, after all, the name of the article) and "Sustainable development," which it the name of another section. Any problem with me removing the subheads? Following that, I will give it a quick edit and then we are done with that section for now. Sunray (talk) 05:04, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

No problem at all. (I am working on a little bit of early history.) V.B. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 4.228.183.85 (talk) 15:18, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Also, could we return that last paragraph of the lead? I think it works for now. If in the end is considered redundant, it can be removed then. V.B. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 4.228.183.85 (talk) 15:21, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
O.K. by me. As you say, we can adjust if need be. Sunray (talk) 05:00, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
I changed a couple of the article heading to reflect more of the content. Sustainability is probably a word that can be repeated often in the article though. The history section could use some expanding as to going further back into the antecedents of environmentalism... actually it goes way back.. and has always been a cultural issue. Also on the carbon, water, cycle etc... connected the headings to their wiki articles... which where previously not connected.

A combination of some of this material in the history section would be a good start as to developing the history section. Although this is focused on Ecological economics that is the category that gets the closest to sustainability in the current economic structure... as it uses environment over money (or so they claim), as to choice of what to do as far as decision making. That is why of all the disciplines in the article ... it might be good to stress ecological economics the most... it most deals with sustainability as its focus.

The first book with the title Ecological Economics was published in Europe by Juan Martinez-Alier (Blackwell, Oxford, 1987) tracing the history of ecological critiques of economics since the 1880s to the 1950s. European conceptual founders include Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, William Kapp (1944) and Karl Polanyi (1950).[1] [2] Furthermore, some key concepts of what is now ecological economics are evident in the writings of E.F. Schumacher, whose book Small Is Beautiful – A Study of Economics as if People Mattered (1973) was published just a few years before the first edition of Herman Daly's comprehensive and persuasive Steady-State Economics (1977).[3][4]

The antecedents can be traced back to the Romantics of the 1800s as well as some Enlightenment political economists of that era. Concerns over population were expressed by Thomas Malthus, while John Stuart Mill hypothesized that the "stationary state" of an economy might be something that could be considered desirable, anticipating later insights of modern ecological economists, without having had their experience of the social and ecological costs of the dramatic post-World War II industrial expansion. As Martinez-Alier explores in his book the debate on energy in economic systems can also be traced into the 1800s e.g. Nobel prize-winning chemist, Frederick Soddy (1877-1956).

In North America, conceptual founders include economists Kenneth Boulding and Herman Daly, ecologists C.S. Holling, H.T. Odum and Robert Costanza, biologist Gretchen Daily and physicist Robert Ayres. Daly and Costanza were part of the institutional founding of the field - resulting in the establishment of the academic journal Ecological Economics and the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE). Some attribute origination of ecological economics as a specific field per se to professor Herman Daly, University of Maryland, a former economist at the World Bank. Ecological economics has been popularized by ecologist and University of Vermont Professor Robert Costanza. CUNY geography professor David Harvey explicitly added ecological concerns to political economic literature. This parallel development in political economy has been continued by analysts such as sociologist John Bellamy Foster.

The Romanian economist Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen (1906-1994), who was among Daly's teachers at Vanderbilt University, provided ecological economics with a modern conceptual framework based on the material and energy flows of economic production and consumption. His magnum opus, The Entropy Law and the Economic Process (1971), has been highly influential.[5] skip sievert (talk) 16:06, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Good point about EE. The difficult part will be condensing this to a paragraph or two. Why not flash something up here that we can work on. Sunray (talk) 05:00, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Also I like the changes you made to the subheadings. It scans much better now. Sunray (talk) 05:09, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Keep in mind that the history section can be a little long... because there is a lot to cover and also it is critical to understanding .. that these ideas have not sprung up overnight but go back for starters a couple of centuries, and many ideas about these concepts go back to the 1920's and 30's and before. I am thinking that we should also include this person in the history section also... that may be a critical add to expanding the info.
Hotelling's rule is a 1931 economic model of non-renewable resource management by Harold Hotelling. It shows that efficient exploitation of a nonrenewable and nonaugmentable resource would, under otherwise stable economic conditions, lead to a depletion of the resource. The rule states that this would lead to a net price or "Hotelling rent" for it that rose annually at a rate equal to the rate of interest, reflecting the increasing scarcity of the resource.
The Hartwick's rule provides an important result about the sustainability of welfare in an economy that uses non-renewable resources.
I pretty much made this article from scratch a few days ago http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_resource_economics and also this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_capital#External_links all this information is critical though to the information here and could be integrated at what ever level into the article. Also more focus on Energy economics... for the most part Ecological economics and Energy economics offer the most interesting way of getting out of the growth trap of resource destruction for money. Go ahead any one, for a mock up of history section using info from above which relates back to Natural resource economics and Natural capital and Ecological economics using history from those and extrapolating here. I am going to work on that section soon, if not later today. skip sievert (talk) 14:36, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

History additions

Mostly new history section. Retained previous information and expanded to give sense of time... place and history of subject.

Start

The first book with the title Ecological Economics was published in Europe by Juan Martinez-Alier (Blackwell, Oxford, 1987). It traces the history of ecological critiques of economics since the 1880s to the 1950s. Connected European conceptual founders include Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, William Kapp (1944) and Karl Polanyi (1950).[6] [7] Furthermore, some key concepts of what is now ecological economics, the study of which is integrally linked to sustainability issues, are evident in the writings of E.F. Schumacher, whose book Small Is Beautiful – A Study of Economics as if People Mattered (1973) was published just a few years before the first edition of Herman Daly's comprehensive and persuasive Steady-State Economics (1977).[8][9]

Some of the antecedents of current sustainability discussion track back to the Romantics of the 1800s as well as some Enlightenment political economists of that era. Concerns over population were expressed by Thomas Malthus (see Malthusian catastrophe), while John Stuart Mill hypothesized that the "stationary state" of an economy might be something that could be considered desirable, anticipating later insights of modern ecological economists, without having had their experience of the social and ecological costs of the dramatic post-World War II industrial expansion. The debate on energy economic systems can also be traced into the 1800s e.g. Nobel prize-winning chemist, Frederick Soddy (1877-1956).[10]

In North America, economists of environmental focus such as Kenneth Boulding and Herman Daly, ecologists C.S. Holling, H.T. Odum and Robert Costanza, biologist Gretchen Daily and physicist Robert Ayres, discuss environment and sustainability concepts. Daly and Costanza were part of the institutional founding of the field - resulting in the establishment of the academic journal Ecological Economics and the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE). Some attribute origination of ecological economics as a specific field per se to professor Herman Daly, University of Maryland, a former economist at the World Bank. Ecological/Environmental economics has been popularized by ecologist and University of Vermont Professor Robert Costanza. CUNY geography professor David Harvey explicitly added ecological concerns to political economic literature. This parallel development in political economy has been continued by analysts such as sociologist John Bellamy Foster. One reason many environmental activists and information providers of sustainability concepts focus on ecological economics, is this disciplines claim, to put ecology first... rather than money.

The Romanian economist Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen (1906-1994), who was among Daly's teachers at Vanderbilt University, provided ecological economics with a modern conceptual framework based on the material and energy flows of economic production and consumption. His magnum opus, The Entropy Law and the Economic Process (1971), has been highly influential.[11]

Hotelling's rule is a 1931 economic model of non-renewable resource management by Harold Hotelling. It shows that efficient exploitation of a nonrenewable and nonaugmentable resource would, under otherwise stable economic conditions, lead to a depletion of the resource. The rule states that this would lead to a net price or "Hotelling rent" for it that rose annually at a rate equal to the rate of interest, reflecting the increasing scarcity of the resource. The Hartwick's rule provides an important result about the sustainability of welfare in an economy that uses non-renewable resources.

Beginning with the environmental movement of the 1960s, heralded by Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962) and underlined by the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth (1975), there has been an increasing awareness that human use of the Earth is approaching a range of environmental and resource limits and that this trend, rather than diminishing, is escalating at an alarming rate. [12][13][14]

International concern over global environmental sustainability, strongly linked to health and poverty issues in the developing world, has resulted in the United Nations sustainable development programs. This has not always been supported by the environmental movement.

End skip sievert (talk) 18:03, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Environmental issues section

Added this to the beginning of that article section to predicate the U.N. material... also added the article link to Environmental science atop that section now (Environmental issues section).

Environmental science is the study of interactions among physical, chemical, and biological components of the environment. Environmental Science provides an integrated, quantitative, and interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental systems.[15] skip sievert (talk) 16:09, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Sustainability and development

Skip moved the table that was lower down to this section. I am wondering if anyone has a cite for the table, which seems based on wishful thinking. V.B. (talk) 16:53, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Consumption of renewable resources State of environment Sustainability
More than nature's ability to replenish Environmental degradation Not sustainable
Equal to nature's ability to replenish Environmental equilibrium Steady-state economy
Less than nature's ability to replenish Environmental renewal Sustainable development
Here is the table to take a look at. I do not know the history of it.. it was found here on wikipedia, and is called a wikitable in its description, and looking at it logically, or attempting to, it would seem to fit into the basic concept of the issues, and appears to be legit in its premise and assumptions in the current system. I thought it was good basic info. I can not find any thing really wrong with it. It appears, it is based in an economic perspective, which also mentions some quasi Heterodox thinking, or alternative aspects of the future (steady state? That would be pretty mainstream in approach. Sadly, mostly money/economics, unfortunately, is the current context though in sustainability issues... from that perspective.. even Ecological economics, which supposedly revolves around ecological imperatives first and foremost... but in reality, probably does not. They claim that though. It seems like good information. Maybe a bit wishful .. yes.. but there does not seem to be any clear mainstream sustainability things going on right now, that do not involve money or special interest groups of one kind or another. skip sievert (talk) 20:36, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
VB, if you have an issue with the table, it can be turned into an image which is not subject to the same OR/SYN scrutiny. NJGW (talk) 21:00, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, here's what bothers me. The table says that steady-state is equal to nature's ability to replenish (I have not heard anyone claim that, the steady state people would argue that at least this would be the case, but hoping to do better), and then it says that sustainable development is linked to "less than nature's ability to replenish" and environmental renewal. Huh? Based on what miracle? Do they have a special line to God? So I am saying... who says? -- Skipsievert, I hear you. The more I read up on the whole sustainability/SD stuff, the more it's turning me into a cynic about the whole thing. Whole forests have died to print all the verbiage, people use it to further their careers rather than to make the kind of changes that are needed. V.B. (talk) 04:51, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
I think it's meant to be a simplification of the 3 possibilities (many variations exist, but these three are the basic categories of possible). "Less than nature's ability to replenish" refers to the amount that is consumed. Maybe it could be worded better, but it makes sense: if you use less of the renewable resources than are being produced by nature every year, more of those resources are available to other organisms and ecosystems; and if you assume that ecosystems exist which have had their resources depleted, then this does fit in with "environmental renewal". NJGW (talk) 05:02, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Let me put it another way, NJGW. The last possibility is presented as the best possibility. It is linked to SD. How exactly is SD supposed to accomplish that? I am not questioning the logic of the above. I am questioning the claim that this can be accomplished by "sustainable development." Who says? What do they base this less-than-credible optimistic claim on? V.B. (talk) 13:35, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
I think the claim is that that's the definition of SD. If it doesn't "cause that" then it's not SD. NJGW (talk) 14:01, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
That seems to be the case, and the way I read the table also, as NJGW did, V.B. There is no question in my mind that a market/money economy is a type of doomsday machine, as all choice is arbitrated using one main fulcrum... and that is money. Hence non market systems seem, at least to me the only way out, or off the current merry go round. There are some interesting heterodox connectors to that line of thinking... thermoeconomics being one. I think we can be sure that there is no happy Holly wood ending to our current system... and chaos and global ecological meltdown is mostly our destination currently (my opinion), until and unless, a new Emergence occurs, with a system ... not based on scarcity (keeping things scarce)... as our current post classical economic system is... or the labor theory of value or what ever the purchaser will feel is worth the purchase concept... as our system still relies on... but an energy based ecological protection system... not using the arbiter of money may be viable. My guess is that we are in the last dregs of the current system... because we are bumping up on the edge now of our resource base, and human survival is now in question Malthusian catastrophe style... peak oil...peak water.. peak life style. Many resources we can only use once... then they are converted into something else, which is non use able. Fossil water is being used up... and contaminated. Our bodies are filling with strange chemicals. We can learn from the past... be here now, to effect change, that goes beyond political or money/economic... and plan a little for the future. That is about as cheerful as I can get about this subject. Alternative socio economic systems are really the only way in my opinion and those would not be based on human labor... as to productivity reward and punishment. Our current model is not working... and will not work in the future (my opinion). Using the money predicate arbiter, dooms us for the time being. Cheers though. skip sievert (talk) 14:48, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Nervous to chip in on such an active discussion, but I find the table unhelpful because it naturally leads to a conversation about theoretical possibilities in future global resource use - which as noted above has consumed a lot of paper already without generating any real change. While the *rate* of consumption continues to increase - even the rate of increase in consumption is increasing - discussions about the possiblity of consuming less than nature can replenish are beyond theoretical and approaching meaningless. This whole article has to tread a very fine line between being a high-level summary of a huge topic, and covering only the most boring aspect of that topic - namely semantics and definitions. The table falls on the wrong side of that line (I also loathe the "three circles" diagram with a passion, but that's another whole story).
One definition of sustainability is "a piece of jargon that acts as a magnet, attracting other jargon". You are writing in dangerous territory.
The original Agenda 21 states that "people are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development" (thus economies are not central; they are a subset of a subset of people). The best parts of this article are already written in practical terms, describing people, their actions, and their impacts. The point is well made above that information on how these impacts can be minimised / managed would also be useful.
The organising principle that makes sense to me is one that moves from "what should be done" to "who's doing the most"? So it's the Measuring Sustainability section that I really want to see (or contribute to?). Taking either Ecological Footprint or Greenhouse Emissions as a key measurement tool, and comparing the measurements that have been done and published, it becomes clear who we can really learn from:
learn from "third world" and "first peoples" societies about how to live within nature's limits
learn from Western Europe how to reverse negative trends and reduce environmental impacts
learn from the "smart growth" cities in every country, those that have been investing in sustainable water, waste, energy and transportation systems for the longest; it has led to measurable results
To me, that is the true and positive story of sustainability, and the thing I would want to read about in a summary article. Abstract speculation on weak vs strong sustainability, or cultural and psychological change, are to me the stuff of minor "spinoff" articles for people who are that way inclined.--Travelplanner (talk) 11:03, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, mostly this is supposed to be an objective encyclopedia that tries to explain what the subject is and what is going on in it, and around it in an overview, hopefully done cleverly, as to information presentation... so bare bones information... with an approach that looks at things from as many relevant angles as possible, in every notable mainstream and notable hetorodox position... is trying to be got at. The article seems pretty good to me at present... but articles can improve no doubt. skip sievert (talk) 17:56, 18 September 2008 (UTC)


Certainly I'm not for a moment suggesting the article is not good, and getting better. But at this point, "better" could head off in a number of potential directios; my suggestion is, "better" might mean more practical information about where things are becoming more sustainable - granted, on far too small a scale, but there are rivers and lakes that are getting cleaner, communities that are using less energy or water or producing less waste than they were a decade ago. How was this achieved?
I guess I'm posing a potential answer to VB's question regarding the final row of the table "The last possibility is presented as the best possibility. It is linked to SD. How exactly is SD supposed to accomplish that?". My answer is, "at the end of a very long road, the beginning of which is to reverse a negative trend and the next step of which is to gain some positive progress, however slight, towards the start of row 1. From where we are now, the difference between rows 1, 2 & 3 is semantics. They all lie in the same direction. A lot of people and communities are trying to head in that direction, and a few are succeeding. For me this is the most interesting "angle" and one that is not well covered yet.
I'm also offering a point of view on NJGW's view of the table "I think the claim is that that's the definition of SD. If it doesn't "cause that" then it's not SD" - to an absolute purist, that is true. But my point of view is, this raises the bar so high that the only option is despair. I would suggest "If it doesn't head in the direction of [any of the definitions in the table] then it's not SD". I'm trying to make a small suggetion that the three definitions amount to exactly the same thing, so distinguishing them is of place in a summary article.--Travelplanner (talk) 23:54, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry your points are lost on me... though that does not mean they are not good points... but it seems more like blog commentary and wikipedia is not a blog. There really is no hope in the current political price system as far as sustainability, because our system is based on growth... so any thing done, is done with dollar business as the fulcrum or arbiter of decision.
The sustainability article is not particularly speculative as to some approach though or a band wagon endorsing any thing. It may present some of the dynamics of the situation... We are not a social movement here endorsing information and trying to infiltrate our opinions... Hopefully the main stream and most notable heterodox information will tried to be covered... and seems to be covered. skip sievert (talk) 02:05, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
My two cents are: the article is not very good at present. Its largeness veers off into an unhelpful direction, and is a bit misconceived. To my mind, it needs reconceptualization. Sustainability is an ideal, hopefully a concept that informs human behavior and draws people into action. I think GT's well written sections on environmental degradation ought to be moved into the articles that cover that particular subject, eg Freshwater lacks a section on environmental degradation. Sustainability article ought to flesh out the concept to the best of our ability, based on what's been written out there, and then sum up the various actual experiments being done, pointing people in many directions so they can explore further. Sustainable development being one of the areas, of course, but only one of many. This to me is the really interesting part, and it is real, not pie in the sky.
The diagram... I don't understand its defense. A self definition does not answer anything. Just because the German Democratic Republic was internally defined that way, did not make it democratic. Similarly, just because SD defines itself a certain way does not make it result in using up less than nature's ability to replenish. Well, whatever, I am tired of this stuff. Tired of hassles over abstractions.
I would like to hear about your objections to the diagram though, Travelplanner. I really dislike it, see it as grossly misleading. I don't think it's appropriate to display here with such prominence, esp. without a discussion of its pros and cons, and alternative diagrams.
I think it's important that we use the talk page, Skip, to work out the underlying philosophical issues, among other things. This is difficult and contentious territory we are traversing, and how else to come to agreement? Who said they could do the section on Measurement? Go boldly and do it! :-)
Who is doing what, and doing the most ought to be key here. Enough beating about the bush. Nobody is sustainable in this civilization, but there are people out there working out the pieces. Let's cover them.V.B. (talk) 15:01, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
I offered to do "measuring sustainability"; I would cover Ecological Footprint, Genuine Progress Indicator, and the emerging trends in CO2 emissions monitoring (not the sum total of sustainability but still a very detailed dataset that shows strikingly similar trends within and between countries to ecological footprint measures). Also link to state of the environment monitoring including the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Then maybe "unpack" the ecological footprint measure a bit along the lines of the article subheadings (energy, waste, water)...
I'm not planning to write anything very long but have very little wikitime so it will take me several days to get a draft up here.--Travelplanner (talk) 18:53, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
    • ^ Kapp, K. W. (1950) The Social Costs of Private Enterprise. New York: Shocken.
    • ^ Polanyi, K. (1944) The Great Transformation. New York/Toronto: Rinehart & Company Inc.
    • ^ Schumacher, E.F. 1973. Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered. London: Blond and Briggs.
    • ^ Daly, H. 1991. Steady-State Economics (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
    • ^ Georgescu-Roegen, N. 1971. The Entropy Law and the Economic Process. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
    • ^ Kapp, K. W. (1950) The Social Costs of Private Enterprise. New York: Shocken.
    • ^ Polanyi, K. (1944) The Great Transformation. New York/Toronto: Rinehart & Company Inc.
    • ^ Schumacher, E.F. 1973. Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered. London: Blond and Briggs.
    • ^ Daly, H. 1991. Steady-State Economics (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
    • ^ Cutler J. Cleveland, "Biophysical economics", Encyclopedia of Earth, Last updated: September 14, 2006.
    • ^ Georgescu-Roegen, N. 1971. The Entropy Law and the Economic Process. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
    • ^ Meadows, D.H., & D.L., Randers, J., & Behrens III, W.W. 1972. The Limits to Growth. Universe Books, New York.
    • ^ World Wildlife Fund 2006. Living Planet Report 2006.
    • ^ [1] Millennium Ecosystem Assessment web site – the full range of reports are available here.
    • ^ Environmental Science: Iowa State University