Notes from Windward: #71

A Definition of Sustainability

Freeman Dyson's perspective


     On page 301 of his interesting and challenging book, Whole Earth Discipline, Steward Brand offers this definition of sustainability given by Physicist Freeman Dyson:

     A project is sustainable if it is cheap enough to be the first of a series continuing indefinitely into the future.

     A project is unsustainable if it is so expensive that it cannot be repeated without major political battles.

     An unsustainable project marks the end of an old era.

     A sustainable project marks the beginning of a new era.


[note: I've rearranged the sentence order for emphasis.]

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 71