Our planet's natural resources have helped humanity advance and build countless civilizations. We are a fossil fuel civilization and have evolved so that today's production and energy use has become the most crucial part of all modern economies. We cannot function without reliable, resilient, and secure energy sources that help us continuously produce. Human history is full of important events that have tremendously shaped our experience on this planet. These experiences have sometimes forced us to make quick decisions and change our ways, but some of these changes occurred gradually and gave us time to plan and adapt. Adaptability is an essential virtue of human beings. For example, when we stopped being hunter-gatherers and became farmers twelve thousand years ago, we developed new habits and gained new perspectives on life and survival. We have abandoned many of our previous practices, which have significantly helped us during our long-running hunter and gatherer lifestyle.

Today, human accelerated climate change, which created the need for sustainable living, is also becoming one of the critical events in human history. The problem of unsustainable and wasteful living is powerful enough to negatively affect our experience on this planet. Our advanced development and modern, productive economy have consequences for our world. Mostly, these consequences are ignored, and their effects are underestimated. Production and development have reached the point that ignoring the results of our daily actions can cause severe risks to the wellbeing and survival of human beings. Human accelerated climate change, increasing carbon dioxide (Co2) emissions, and our passion for infinite development in a finite world can significantly affect our lives and the environment. Massive floods, air pollution, water pollution, and severe and frequent, unpredictable natural disasters are some of the visible results of the radical increase in global greenhouse gases, the waste products of the world economy.

What could be the potential solution to these problems? There is no simple answer. However, we have some paths to follow to mitigate the adverse outcomes of our profit and production-driven economic activities on this planet. International problems require international and interdisciplinary solutions. Hence, the adoption of sustainable development practices and climate change mitigation requires intergovernmental, interdisciplinary, and cooperative work of all nations. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are essential steps

toward a future where our economic activities change in a way that supports and help every human being on this planet while securing and supporting our survival. An inclusive financial system, which protects the environment and benefits even the smallest communities at the remotest possible locations on this planet, is needed. However, the problems of unsustainable production and the consequences of extreme resource exploitation are being pushed on to the next generations in an irresponsible and inhumane fashion. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are critical steps needed to improve communities, cope with global problems, and create a resilient, sustainable future for every single person on Earth.

Focusing on Sustainable Development Goals is an essential duty of today's world. These goals can promote innovation, new investment, social mobilization, public awareness on world issues, global collective action, and much more. Setting goals is an effective way to succeed. Focusing on these goals will help us have a more precise grasp on global issues and create an efficient path towards development that will include every region and nation on our planet. It is essential to state that along with world governments, local and international companies are also crucial players in today's global economy. Hence, governments and companies need to take on sustainable development policies. In today's global economic system, can we say that we have adopted sustainability as the central premise for our consumption and production? Or are we going in the opposite direction, becoming increasingly unsustainable and wasteful?

Degree Date

Fall 12-1-2020

Document Type


Degree Name



Graduate Liberal Studies


Daniel Millimet

Second Advisor

Charles Sullivan

Third Advisor

Thomas Osang

Subject Area

Economics, Humanities, Political Science and Government, Public Policy

Number of Pages




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License