Sustainable development is development that does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs ... Albert A. Bartlett 2012
In September 2012, I gave an eight hour course on sustainability - an important issue encompassing most areas of life. The lectures were aimed at highlighting the problems with sustainable development in today's society and the strain that our current civilization is putting on the earth's resources and ecosystem. General commonsense approach to the basics of life like food, energy, water were shown to help in alleviating some of the problems. Population and over-consumption are the two main issues that need to be addressed before any sensible resolution of our unsustainable existence can be found. The talks have been published as follows:
Sustainability: Managing Population
Sustainability: Managing Climate Change
Sustainability: Managing Food and Water Resources
Sustainability: Managing Energy Resources
In the talks, I have deliberately avoided a detailed discussion of how new technologies will impact sustainability. There is complex interaction between technological advancements and how potential benefits are shared. It might be possible to solve a lot of the problems discussed in the talks but there is a darker side that could not be ignored. Current events do not inspire confidence and the question - can our civilization survive long enough to see the benefits? - will remain.