- September 1, 2011: Vol. 5, Number 8

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All Over the Place: Sustainability Means Many Things to Many People, But What Does It Really Mean?

by Richard Fleming

In the 17th Century, it was man’s propensity to seek out and explore, culminating in the discovery and opening up of new worlds and new possibilities in the Americas and Australasia; in the 18th Century, it was the expression of people power that resulted in the American and French revolutions and the beginnings of wider democracy; in the 19th Century, it was the invention of machines and factories and the move from subsistence farming to industrialisation and urbanisation; in the 20th Century, it was the realisation that world warfare could not solve the dichotomy between totalitarianism and individual freedom; and in the 21st Century, it increasingly is the knowledge that — despite, or because of, technological progress — the fulmination of many of mankind’s achievements in the past 400 years could ultimately lead to the destruction of the planet unless rapid and effective remedial action is undertaken.

That Armageddon scenario would seem t

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