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Seeking sustainability

Seeking sustainability
Ross Macmillan, August 2014.
 
 
 
 

Author

Ross Macmillan is a Senior Fellow in Agricultural Engineering, University of Melbourne and Fellow of ISCAST.

Abstract

Sustainability is a complex and subtle objective, the achievement of which will usually not be obvious. It is suggested that it may be better to think of seeking ways to avoid unsustainability.
This could be achieved in terms of the two main measures which characterise sustainability, viz., the shortage of the requisite source materials – which in some instances may be limited by the rate at which they are replaced in natural processes, and the presence of wastes and their serious effects – which might be related to whether they are disposed of directly to the environment or treated locally.
Achieving community-wide sustainability is usually difficult as it involves many decisions at the human level and associated complex decisions at the technical and economic level. While international trade and aid both may assist in promoting sustainability, ultimately the level achieved depends on direct and indirect personal choices which in turn partly depend on the religious and world views of the community.

 

Key words

sustainability, resources, materials, wastes
 


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