I notice that many people confuse between environmental protection and sustainability (or my definition of sustainable development). They thought sustainability is about protecting the earth, nature, animals and plants, biodiversity, recycling, air pollution (or other kind of pollutions) or just about global warming.

This is a huge misunderstanding! Sustainability is centered on human. It is concern about the sustainablity of current human civilization, about how human can live with our environment (earth) sustainably.

The problem with environmental protection is it just try to address the symptoms. It treats environment (nature) as a seperate entity, so when the problem in that area pop up, go and fix it in a quick way. The problem with this fragmental approach of problem solving is, without researching and addressing the root structure that gave rise to the problem, the problem is likely not to go away (reappear later or in other place), possibly grow bigger, and the worst case is our previous quick fix created another problem!

So why we worry about sustainablity? It is because we have observed many unsustainable signs and the list is growing rapidly. They can be well-explained by a logically consistent root structure, called Limits to Growth. In this structure, pollution, natural resource, food, economic production and populution are interconnected. In fact, sustainablity views nature, climate, energy, food, water, natural resources, waste, population, economic production, social needs, values, democracy, peace are all interrelated. Each of our daily activities (how you use energy, how you eat, etc.) affects the prospect of sustainability, although the link is not obvious immediately.

Sustainability is not just environment matter. It is about how we live.