Different uses of the term "sustainability"

Sustainability first of all means survival, keeping the community alive. To achieve this the main requirement is sufficient food, and the means used to this end is agriculture. With the help of increased means of production and greater efficiency in production attempts are made to meet the demand ("Green Revolution"). Conservation of the productive basis is seldom or at best only secondarily a theme of importance.
Sustainability also means an ecologically acceptable production, where everything removed is then replaced so as not to harm the ecological system. This train of thought can also be connected to the traditional farmer. A peasant's self-image as trustee of his farm, which he is supposed to use, preserve and enlarge and then pass on to his descendants, has many counterparts in other cultures. It is only in recent times that the mistaken belief in the do-ability of

all things, a veritable flood of technological innovations, communication and transport systems, and last, but not least, the necessity of increasingly cheap production have led to changes in traditional attitudes and behaviour.
Sustainability can also be understood in a social sense, meaning a thriving economic and social order with production structures and relationships which ensure a fair distribution of income, power and opportunities, thus providing the basis for social peace.
Finally, sustainability is used in the sense of long-term carrying capacity of regions, where there is no negative impact on the environment. Actually this is a summary of the other three definitions of sustainability already mentioned. Sufficient food and other consumer goods coming from ecologically acceptable production in a well-functioning economic and social system provide the conditions for the long-term carrying capacity of a region.