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Xkcd illustrates your point well, "The word 'sustainable' is unsustainable" Back in 1997 I cycled across the country for sustainable transportation. I was occasionally tongue-tied as I went door-to-door fundraising in my south town, trying to explain to rural Texans what sustainable transportation meant. In undergrad, we memorized the Brundtland Commission definition: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". It's hard to capture the intergenerational equity aspect of sustainability with another word. When I talk about transport today, I use efficient, high quality, and high performance more frequently than sustainable.
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Jul 9, 2012