Geoffrey Dohrmann
- June 1, 2023: Vol. 35, Number 6

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Isn’t it ironic? Making sense of sustainability in a political world

by Geoffrey Dohrmann

It is a wee bit ironic that the term “sustainability” has become associated with a liberal political orientation, when the act of “sustaining” something is an essentially conservative one. Sustainability is designed to preserve the status quo or restore a prior state of equilibrium or resource availability.

Sustainable agriculture, for example, is defined by US Code Title 7, Section 3103 as “an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term,” do five things, including “satisfy human food and fiber needs; and enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agriculture economy depends” — a clearly conservative process.

According to MIT, “The real estate industry can be a catalyst for the rapid mobilization of a global transition to a greener society.” And a recent research report by CBRE states, “To meet globally agreed targets, nearly 40 percen

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