Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On The Use Of The Word SUSTAINABLE

From xkcd comics:

 From the extrapolation it looks like that by the year 2109 we haven't yet figured out a way to live "sustainably", which is why people are desperately repeating the word "sustainable"!

By the way, the trend up to 2010 in the figure isn't just made up. The increase in the word "sustainable" from 1960 to early part of this century is true. Here's the usage frequency of the word from 1900 to 2005 as depicted by Google Ngram.  I have plotted it along with three other terms- climate change, global warming and sustainable development to understand why it might have increased.

The increase in the word sustainable begins in the 1970's as the environmental movement made its mark and books on that topic began to appear, while climate change and global warming start being used more and more from the mid-late 1980's onwards.

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