What sustainability is, what its goals should be, and how these goals are to be achieved are all open to interpretation. For many environmentalists the idea of sustainable development is an oxymoron as development seems to entail environmental degradation.A universally accepted definition of sustainability is elusive because it is expected to achieve many things. On the one hand it needs to be factual and scientific, a clear statement of a specific “destination”. The simple definition "sustainability is improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting eco-systems", though vague, conveys the idea of sustainability having quantifiable limits.
To add complication the word sustainability is applied not only to human sustainability on Earth, but to many situations and contexts over many scales of space and time, from small local ones to the global balance of production and consumption. It can also refer to a future intention: "sustainable agriculture" is not necessarily a current situation but a goal for the future, a prediction. For all these reasons sustainability is perceived, at one extreme, as nothing more than a feel-good buzzword with little meaning or substance but, at the other, as an important but unfocused concept like "liberty" or "justice". It has also been described as a "dialogue of values that defies consensual definition".
there is no need for industrialized production, in fact its a detractor to production levels. Keep in mind its a multi billion dollar industry, theres lots of mis conceptions out there, and billions of reasons for them to stick around.
Hey folks! This is a great thread. I am also a graduate student in the Interdisciplinary Ecology doctoral program at UF. For my dissertation, I am conducting research about the diffusion of Permaculture in the U.S. and Australia from a social science perspective.