The natural resources of our planet have helped humanity to advance and build countless civilizations. We are a fossil fuel civilization, and we have evolved in such a way that today's production and energy use has become the most crucial part of all modern economies. We are not able to function without reliable, resilient, and secure energy sources, which help us to produce continuously. Human history is full of important events, 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. 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, 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 that it can affect our experience on this planet negatively. Our advanced development and modern, productive economy have consequences for the planet we live on. For the most part, these consequences are ignored, and their effects are underestimated. Production and development have reached the point that ignoring the consequences of our daily actions can cause severe risks for the wellbeing and survival of human beings. Humantriggered climate change, increasing carbon dioxide (Co2) emissions, our passion for infinite development in a finite world are all affecting our lives and habitat. Sea level rise, air pollution, water pollution, and severe and frequent, unpredictable natural disasters are some of the results of our increasing Co2 emissions, a waste product of the world economy. What could be the potential solution to these problems? There is no simple answer. However, we do 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 are an essential step towards 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 economic 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. Investing in sustainable development goals is an essential part of today's world since these investments also promote innovation, new investment, social mobilization, public awareness on world issues, global collective action, and much more. Setting goals is an effective way to success, and setting 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 every nation on earth. It is essential to state that along with world governments, local and international companies are also essential 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 more and more unsustainable and wasteful?

Degree Date

Fall 12-1-2020

Document Type


Degree Name



Doctor of Liberal Studies


Daniel Millimet

Second Advisor

Charles Sullivan

Third Advisor

Thomas Osang

Subject Area

Economics, Humanities, Humanities, General/Other, Political Science and Government, Public Policy, Social Sciences, General/Other

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