Sustainability and Green Economics

What is sustainability?

Although the first article didn’t raise this question, the more that it’s researched, the most elusive the concept of sustainability becomes. For most, the concept is merely about finding a replacement for fossil fuels. But imagine this utopian scenario: It the year 2060, and the average human life expectancy is 85 years thanks to nanotechnology & other medical technologies of the day. The latest news report reveals sustainability metrics that are astounding: CO2 levels are at its lowest since 2023 when fossil fuel officially took the back seat to renewable and nuclear energy sources, and Wall Street is rejoicing while the green capitalists’ smiles glean a pearly sparkle. On the Discovery channel a show is on about the orangutans in China. Or at least what they once were in their natural habitat. Now that they’re extinct it’s just a documentary, but your grandkids at least have the technology to experience them in virtual reality. Sadly, it doesn’t raise their interest, much as Elvis didn’t raise Generation Y’s interest when they were growing up back in the early 21st century. Once in a while you take a glimpse outside at the world that is pretty much the way they depicted in the science fiction movies, where you can’t really distinguish the personality difference between the robots and real people, where everything that’s present has defined function or purpose, and the ubiquity of information and communication portals provides a perfect excuse for never having to go experience. We are at such an incredible level and pace of technological advancement that we have been convinced that a lot of the world’s fundamental issues will be solved within the next few years with extraordinary scientific breakthroughs (e.g. nuclear fusion for ‘clean’ energy, nanotechnology for curing serious medical ailments, and biotechnology for resilient mass-scale food production). Indeed, a lot of these will materialize. But sustainability is not just about the technology or its creation; it is a holistic concept and should not be considered as another ‘opportunity of the decade’, nor as a means to ease the global economic recession, as these are yet another vehicle to satisfy mankind’s egocentric desire for material indulgence. It is simply a notion that we have a moral responsibility to preserve the planet and ALL of its natural inhabitants, and to ensure that our future generations get to enjoy the same in its elementary form.