“Sustainability” – What Does It Mean To Most People? Is it Ambiguous?

From the University of Buffalo (NY) Law School we have a new book about the meanings of sustainability – for experts and the lay audience.  What does the term mean?  Many things to many people, author Jessica Owley (associate professor) thinks.  We need to move beyond what may be too “squishy/mushy” terminology, she posts.  With co-author Albany Law School (NY) faculty member Keith Hirokawa, the voices of various thinkers are presented in the book – “Rethinking Sustainability to Meet the Challenge of Climate Change.”

One question the authors post:  Has “sustainability” as a term reached the end of its useful life?

They think the term has to be re-examined, refiners or articulated in greater detail to more publicly address the “daunting issue of climate change.”  The voices of the Environmental Law Collaborative, a groups of scholars that Owley assembled, comprise the heart of the book.

The authors say the book is about the importance of tackling climate change without losing sight that it is a “wicked, multi-faceted problem with people (us!) at its core.”  Addressing climate change is about public health, livelihoods, and well being.”   The book is one more contribution to the broadening public dialogue about sustainability, climate change, global warming and related topics.  Highlights are in the story linked below:

UB environmental law expert tackles ambiguous – but essential – concept of ‘sustainability’
(Friday – July 24, 2015)
Source: University of Buffalo – Sustainability may be one of those “squishy/mushy” buzz words too vague to be much use. But the principle behind it demands citizens come to grips with the grave problems it was created to solve.

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