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Sustainability means that a given societal structure and mode of functioning can be maintained UNCHANGED for a very long time, say many hundreds of years. (compare: greenfacts)
Sustainability is NOT "sustainable development" ("SD"), which is frequently being referred to as "... forms of progress that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs (e.g. WBCSD", in line with the Brundtland definition of 1982. "Sustainable Development" is a dangerous fiction, born out of an honest desire to promote sustainability, but misguided and deluded by economic theories that lack understanding of hardcore physical realities.
In fact, NO development can be sustained for a long time since every development means an increase in consumption of material resources. And, as most non-scholars recognise, material resources ARE finite.
Surfing the web (April 2004) we find this "Brundtland principle" being repeated ad nauseam (Named after the World Commission on Environment and Development (known as the "Brundtland Commission") who in 1987 presented a special report to the UN called "Our Common Future".
One should note, however, that their footprint refers to the BIOLOGICAL footprint only. Therefore they can speak of the number of Earths that would be needed to support humanity's present consumption of renewable biological resources.
Intuitively, one will think that our human footprint represents our total weight, not only our biomass but also our clothes, glasses, watch, belt, mobile phone, as well as our share of the house, the school, the car, the infrastructure and all that makes up for our standard of living.
ecoglobe believes that that is the reality. Our footprint is everything we use and consume, including the non-renewable resources.
So here we are by no means talking of numbers of Earths we would need. Because even 100 Earths would not refute the hard fact that most natural resources are NON-RENEWABLE.
Therefore, since we do have only one planet and no other planet is in sight, we must reduce our resource consumption before we run out of them.
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