To me sustainability is not just about global warming, or energy, or population – IT’S ALL OF IT – it’s all inter-related.

There are 2 papers whose key images are pasted below with the links to each paper that portrays the inter-relationships of different facets of our world:

Estimate of quantitative evolution of control variables for planetary boundaries from pre-industrial levels to the present :referencePlanetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity by Johan Rockström 1,2, Will Steffen 1,3 et al. (tables and reference links at bottom of article) The inter-relationship of Natural Resources to Human security to Societal stability and to the climate system:referenceClimate Change and Violent Conflict Science-2012-Scheffran-869-71

And here’s a new book by the World Watch Institute: State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible? :

Sustainability is the capacity to endure. In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. For humans, sustainability is the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which has ecological, economic, political and cultural dimensions. Sustainability requires the reconciliation of environmental, social equity and economic demands – also referred to as the “three pillars” of sustainability or (the 3 Es).

Healthy ecosystems and environments are necessary to the survival and flourishing of humans and other organisms. There are a number of major ways of reducing negative human impact. The first of these is environmental management. This approach is based largely on information gained from earth science, environmental science and conservation biology. The second approach is management of human consumption of resources, which is based largely on information gained from economics. A third more recent approach adds cultural and political concerns into the sustainability matrix.

Sustainability interfaces with economics through the social and environmental consequences of economic activity. Sustainability economics involves ecological economics where social aspects including cultural, health-related and monetary/financial aspects are integrated. Moving towards sustainability is also a social challenge that entails international and national law, urban planning and transport, local and individual lifestyles and ethical consumerism. Ways of living more sustainably can take many forms from reorganising living conditions (e.g., ecovillages, eco-municipalities and sustainable cities), reappraising economic sectors (permaculture, green building, sustainable agriculture), or work practices (sustainable architecture), using science to develop new technologies (green technologies, renewable energy and sustainable Fission and Fusion power), to adjustments in individual lifestyles that conserve natural resources.

See Ethics and Environmental Economics for related issues/topics: