The National Statement of Values tells us that ‘We value the environment, both natural and shaped by humans, as the basis of life and a source of wonder and inspiration’. It goes on to inform us that, on the basis of these values we should: ‘. . . accept our responsibility to maintain a sustainable environment for future generations’. What does the word ‘sustainability’ mean to you? If you immediately think of ‘Agenda 21’, the Rio Earth Summit or Kyoto, it probably means quite a lot. If these terms are unfamiliar to you, however, it may be helpful to begin with an explanation as to why we have devoted this and the next chapter in a book on the teaching of humanities for the twenty first century to a concept which is probably a great deal less familiar than such concepts as ‘history’ or ‘geography’.