The word Sustainable has been used in the name of our group to mean changing our community so that it does not depend on burning ever more fossil fuels or destroying the climate.
The concept of Sustainable Development was invented at the 1992 Rio summit to describe the combination of fairness for the poorer countries of the world with respect for the environment. We like the definition in the Brundtland Report of the 1987 World Commission on Environment and Delelopment, entitled 'Our Common Way':
"Development which meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"
Another definition is that it means finding ways of doing things that are good for the environment, society and the economy.
To us, Sustainable means we will be able to carry on when the oil runs short.
As a Transition Initiative, our two main concerns are climate change and peak oil.
Climate change means the changes that we expect to our weather in the next few years. This is happening mostly because we are burning oil, gas and coal, which give off carbon dioxide into the air.
For details of how this might affect the UK, see the latest official UK climate forecasts, produced by the UK Climate Impacts Programme. They have published an explanation of the forecasts and the answers to frequently asked questions.
Peak oil is the time when world oil production peaks and starts to go down. We are convinced by the evidence that peak oil is about now, so there are likely to be serious oil shortages soon.
If the demand tries to grow at 2% per year, as it has done in recent times, either we need to reduce world oil consumption by wasting less, or the price of oil will go up sharply, possibly causing world recessions.
See also our PDF posters and display material: What is Peak Oil, the Hubbert curve, actions to mitigate peak oil, peak oil and food, the good the bad and the ugly, oil as black gold and tar sands and shale.