Whether we talk about the environment, or public debt, the topic of sustainability seems pervasive in public discussions. But exactly how pervasive is it? For how long do we care about the future impacts of our current decisions? Particularly when it comes to decisions that affect future generations. Should we build football stadiums and leave the bill to be paid by our grandchildren? What about schools, who should pay for them?
While we can not objectively answer the last two questions, we can assess how politicians and the media have treated the topic of sustainability throughout the years. We make use of the transcripts of the portuguese parliament as well as online media records, twitter and facebook posts to observe the dynamics of the topic in recent years. Namely, we ask: In what contexts is sustainability discussed? Who talks about sustainability? What is its temporal dynamics?