Published in Proceedings of InterSymp-2014: Baden-Baden, Germany, August 4, 2014.
Publisher's website: http://www.iias.edu.
The theme of this paper is to briefly survey the status of current efforts to maintain our natural environment and then discuss prospects for achieving future sustainability. The author finds that while there has been general recognition of the need for environmental sensitivity and conservation of natural resources, progress toward achieving sustainability goals has been slow. A principal reason for this lack of action is found in the reactive nature of the human species. Situated by biological design in our environment we typically respond to environmental changes only after they have occurred. Accordingly, while a number of revolutionary proposals have been made in recent years that would ensure sustainability almost indefinitely they are unlikely to be implemented proactively. Instead they will be implemented piecemeal by necessity when it is almost too late to avert the near disaster situations that they were intended to prevent from occurring.