Darkin Tanner has asked: "Can all of humanity thrive?"
I know this is elementary, but I have to say yes, but depending on what is meant by "all of Humanity". I believe there is a certain size of population that is more "sustainable" than other sizes.
I suppose this needs to be decided and established on a community by community basis.
I suppose the concept of "thrive" should be decided on a community by community basis too.
Then positive interaction between communities would have influence on these variable Truths too.
Just thinkin, just sayin.
Excellent points Dan, another question to add to the list would be to ask
If you want to live sustainably, what is it that you want to sustain?
In all technicalities the current model has sustained it's path of destruction for multiple generations, so it begs the question, what should we sustain?
Sustainability is a wide open field, taking on the challenge of developing new paradigms of thought and relationship with the planet and other people. Through cooperation and engagement communities will be able to identify what sustainable is to them, and learn what models and ideas work for their unique community situation.
Good questions Darkin. I suppose I would start with the first three items essential to Life on Our World:
(1) "Healthy" Air
(2) Clean Healthy Water
(3) Healthy Nutritious Food and Drink
These, to my mind, set the stage, or foundation, for "Good" shelter.
What I could do, in my Life, for the first thing is to convert my vehicle to a non-polluting form...right now I like electric vehicles the best. But I also am attracted to Animal Power...especially in a small community.
What I could do for the second thing is keep waste and toxins away from clean water.
What I could do for the third thing is to grow and process as much food as I can. But, with age, I am becoming less productive.
Good shelter depends on the particular environment that I live in. Here, I am attracted to the concept of going to warmer regions in the Winter and cooler regions in the Summer. bit of a Nomad, I am I am....but currently "trapped" in a very humble domain, where the Summers and Winters could be considered moderate. 102 degree days and 20 degree nights as extremes.
Probably important to the success of all of the above is reduced Human population.
Yes, those three to me are basic human rights that are essential in creating a healthy society.
Electric cars are essential to transitioning out of oil, but it must go hand in hand with creating an energy infrastructure that uses little to no finite resources to get the energy we put in the vehicles. Localization of energy production can reduce waste of transferring the electricity, and perhaps one day researchers will be free to look at Tesla's findings on electricity to develop next generation technology.
The reduction of human population is probably out of the question. The reduction of the rate of change of human population is actually related to urban development. Developed countries use more resources than less developed, but at the same time the net growth of developed countries population is substantially lower than less developed countries. Some places in Europe actually have a higher crude death rate than crude birth rate, which is a negative rate of change of population for that region.
The Population Reference Bureau releases annual reports on countries populations and is a great data set to educate your self on the conditions of countries around the world. Here is a link to the 2012 Population Data Sheet
A Rate of Natural increase of 0 indicates a population that does not change in number over time. The United States has a RNI of .5, while Estonia has achieved a RNI of 0. Other countries in Europe actually have negative values, which could indicate conscious population control, or could reveal demographics on the spread of age in a region (regions with more deaths than births could show an aging community)
According to this data sheet, Europe in it's entirety has a RNI of 0! This is an indication of a stabilization of population, and if the world can reclaim top soil, the nutrients in food, and reduction of water used in agriculture, then there is hope for supplying all the people of the world with healthy food.