What Does a Sustainable Future Actually Look Like?

Todd Reubold, writing for Ensia:

Ask a hundred people if they’re interested in living in a “more sustainable world” and I bet the vast majority would respond, “Yes.” The trouble is, they’d probably all have a different idea in their heads of what that meant. We need to start talking about a sustainable future in specifics. Sustainability over what time frame? Where? For whom?

Sustainability is a goal -- a thing to continue to strive for, and as such it is a journey. Are we willing to live with the needs of future generations in mind or not? Should we save North Dakota oil for future generations and use less oil today? Today we are trying to pump it out as fast as we can (at the expense of wasting natural gas). Or should we be oblivious and uncaring for those that have yet to be? It would appear that we almost always say that it is up to future generations to live with the benefits, overexploitation, and pollution that they inherit.