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Humanities 2013, 2(2), 119-127; doi:10.3390/h2020119

Sustainability—What Are the Odds? Envisioning the Future of Our Environment, Economy and Society

National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1 Sabine Island Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561, USA
Received: 15 January 2013 / Revised: 21 March 2013 / Accepted: 21 March 2013 / Published: 26 March 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humanity’s Future)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [258 KB, 2 April 2013; original version 26 March 2013]   |  

Abstract

This article examines the concept of sustainability from a global perspective, describing how alternative futures might develop in the environmental, economic, and social dimensions. The alternatives to sustainability appear to be (a) a catastrophic failure of life support, economies, and societies, or (b) a radical technological revolution (singularity). The case is made that solutions may be found by developing a global vision of the future, estimating the probabilities of possible outcomes from multiple indicators, and looking holistically for the most likely paths to sustainability. Finally, an intuitive vision of these paths is offered as a starting point for discussion. View Full-Text
Keywords: catastrophe; singularity; forecasting; technology; natural resources; probability catastrophe; singularity; forecasting; technology; natural resources; probability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Jordan, S.J. Sustainability—What Are the Odds? Envisioning the Future of Our Environment, Economy and Society. Humanities 2013, 2, 119-127.

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