“Sustainable” has become a buzzword that is applicable not only to agriculture and energy production but to sectors as far afield as the building and textile industries. Some universities offer courses or even degrees in “sustainability.”
Many large companies tout the concept and boast a sustainability department, and the United Nations has hundreds of projects concerned with sustainability throughout its many agencies and programs.
But as with many vague, feel-good concepts–“natural” and “locavorism” come to mind–it contains more than a little sophistry. For example, sustainability in agriculture is often linked to organic food production, whose advocates tout it as a “sustainable” way to feed the planet’s expanding population. According to the Worldwatch Institute, “Organic farming has the potential to contribute to sustainable food security by improving nutrition intake and sustaining livelihoods in rural areas, while simultaneously reducing vulnerability to climate change and enhancing biodiversity.” This is wishful thinking, if not outright delusion.
Her er der til gengæld noget forskning, der for en gangs skyld er højrelevant og ikke det rene tidsspilde. :-)