Sustainability is a state or condition that can be maintained over an indefinite period of time.
Sustainable Development, as defined by the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission), is "the capacity to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
Yes, I believe that we should try to achieve sustainability because with the unprecedented growth of the human population and technologies it has impacted on the environment. The amount of human impact has steadily increased in scale. The evidence indicates that human activities now effect ecological cycles and the earth's ability to support living things.
While human impact has increased, scientific knowledge and public awareness of the environment and our dependence on it have increased as well. The more interest in sustainability the more the understanding.
History shows that society has dealt with environmental problems in a reactive way.
For example species that were disappearing were protected after the population got to critical levels and then threatened by extinction. Water quality policies were introduced after some rivers were so polluted that fish and aquatic life died.
Still, we have achieved allot of success in resolving many local and regional environmental problems by using scientific knowledge and technological tools on a case-by-case basis. For example in my field of work, Civil engineering, the introduction of GPT (Gross Pollutent Traps) for the discharge of stormwater into our waterways has been implemented by most Council's.
However in the 80's & 90's brought to light environmental problems in a global scale, climate change, ozone depletion and loss of biodiversity.
Many policy makers now acknowledge that a more comprehensive, integrated, long-term approach is needed. Thinking in terms of sustainability may be an important part of this approach.
Another factor, which has...