Title text: Though 100 years is longer than a lot of our resources.
This is a graph of the usage of the word "Sustainable" in English in the United States each year. And as you can see, Randall extends the graph to the point where sustainable will be used as every word.
Sustainable has been increasing in use as people of the US are concerned about making sure that Earth's resources are not totally exhausted in the near future by developing sustainable development. Sustainable development is a pattern of growth in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come.
As Randall mentions in the title text, the 100 years it takes for the word sustainable to get to 100% usage is a lot longer than most of our non-renewable and non-sustainable resources will last on the Earth.
The graph is plotted with a logarithmic independent axis, meaning the line depicts exponential growth. Most people aren't used to reading these kind of graphs, so it may look like the increase is linear and one day we will wake up and find that the only word in our vocabulary is the word "Sustainable." More realistically, we are merely in the first phase of logistic growth, where use is rocketing up before leveling off.
- Frequency of use of the word "sustainable" in US English text, as a percentage of all words, by year. Source: Google NGrams.
- [A two-axis graph with percentages increasing logarithmically (from 0.000001% to 1,000%) on the Y-axis, and years progressing linearly (from 1950 to 2140) on the X-axis. Actual data points show a high correlation from 0.00001 at 1950 to 0.001% at present day. Extrapolated data points exist for the future. 2036 (approx. 0.1%): "sustainable" occurs an average of once per page. 2061(approx. 1%): "sustainable" occurs an average of once per sentence. 2109 (approx. 100%) All sentences are just the word "sustainable" over and over.]
- The word "sustainable" is unsustainable.