Is sustainability science really a science?

Past the fact that this is obviously a sad day for the once proud Los Alamos National Laboratory, “sustainability” is a really stupid and dangerous notion.

From a Los Alamos media release:

Is sustainability science really a science?

Los Alamos and Indiana University researchers say yes

LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, November 22, 2011—The idea that one can create a field of science out of thin air, just because of societal and policy need, is a bold concept. But for the emerging field of sustainability science, sorting among theoretical and applied scientific disciplines, making sense of potentially divergent theory, practice and policy, the gamble has paid off.

In the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Santa Fe Institute, and Indiana University analyzed the field’s temporal evolution, geographic distribution, disciplinary composition, and collaboration structure.

“We don’t know if sustainability science will solve the essential problems it seeks to address, but there is a legitimate scientific practice in place now,” said Luís Bettencourt of Los Alamos National Laboratory and Santa Fe Institute, first author on the paper, “Evolution and structure of sustainability science.

The team’s work shows that although sustainability science has been growing explosively since the late 1980s, only in the last decade has the field matured into a cohesive area of science. Thanks to the emergence of a giant component of scientific collaboration spanning the globe and an array of diverse traditional disciplines, there is now an integrated scientific field of sustainability science as an unusual, inclusive, and ubiquitous scientific practice.

The researchers used an exhaustive literature search to determine if the field can truly be categorized as a legitimate science, using population modeling and documenting technical papers’ evolution over time, worldwide author distribution, range of sciences involved, and the collaboration structure of the participants. Many of these techniques form the basis of a new science of science, which allows researchers to analyze and predict the development of scientific and technological fields…

“Sustainability” is not a science; it’s an excuse not to growth and develop.

Thomas Malthus trial-ballooned sustainability in the 18th century — and he was dead wrong. But at least he intended no malice.

The modern Malthusians cynically use sustainability to thwart capitalism. We are aware of only one serious sustainability project that was ever attempted — and the enviros killed it.

Read the Los Alamos media release.

Read Steve Milloy’s February 2007 column “Unsustainable Environmentalism”.

3 thoughts on “Is sustainability science really a science?”

  1. In defense of LANL (disclaimer: I work there), they do what they are told to do (funded to do). And virtually all government entities, both federal and state, have jumped onto the sustainability bandwagon. Even if 99% of employees realize that sustainability is an empty political phrase, we can’t do anything about it.

    In addition, whenever you observe the word sustainability being used, you can almost bet that the United Nations has gotten involved with the process. Along with the word sustainability, you will often see the words global, diverse, and integrated. The basic politics are designed to create a world government. The next few election cycles in America will probably determine whether that happens.

    This is much worse than just Los Alamos National Laboratory spouting drivel.

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