Sustainability: A brief timeline

Earth Day 2010 is approaching and for the month of April, I am going to feature multiple articles on Sustainability. To kick things off, today’s entry is a short history of Sustainability. The first entry is in 1824, with Fourier first discovering what will later be called the “greenhouse effect.” You will notice that this is a "guest" post featuring Professor Tonya Boone, Mason School’s sustainability expert. She chose the events in the timeline, I just web-enabled it.

Tonya uses this timeline in her “Sustainable Business” class to introduce sustainability to those who are new to the area. So, learn, share, and enjoy!!

If you want a bigger version of the timeline, point your browser here.

How to interact with the timeline:

When you first see the timeline, a window titled “A brief timeline for sustainability” appears with a “start” button. When you press the “start” button, the timeline defaults to the last event. You can pan the timeline at the bottom (use either your mouse or the "prev" or "next" buttons). You can click on an event and learn more about it. The scale on the right of the timeline changes the scale of the timeline. The little green arrows on this scale also pans through the events.


The blue flags on the timeline are international treaties and meetings; the green flags indicate important steps in US Environment law. The red blocks are environmental disasters. The green “+” sign are reports, events, or organizations that have shaped the environmental movement. Finally, the black circles are major advances in how businesses perceive sustainability.