A certain unsustainable lack of definition

ancient farmhouse

They can’t define WHAT?


Lots of people think “sustainable” is most difficult to define. I disagree: it isn’t hard to define – the word is in the dictionary. I looked it up.

Now I will tell you what it means: “sustainable” means supportable; maintainable.

“Sure, you can quote me – and it was the Shorter Oxford… No, I’m not a hero, just an ordinary bloke, anyone else would have done the same in that situation… I don’t know what the fuss is about… Yes, at the back, do you have a question?”

During the Helengrad era in New Zealand, almost every press release emanating from the Beehive was liberally sprinkled with the word “sustainable”. Meaningless bureaucratese or “apparatchik-speak” such as this usually has a short life, but “sustainable” is clinging on – much used, for example, in Phil O’Reilly’s just-published 2012 report of the Green Growth Advisory Group, which mentions some form of the word “sustainable” 67 times. And we still don’t know what the word means. Continue Reading →

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