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    Next journey: sustainability for six billion and more.

    Rasmussen LL

    In: Ethics for a small planet: new horizons on population, consumption, and ecology, [by] Daniel C. Maguire and Larry L. Rasmussen. Albany, New York, State University of New York Press, 1998. 67-141. (SUNY Series in Religious Studies)

    This essay considers sustainability, population, and development as the defining features of the future of the human species. These issues shape how humans live in a sustainable relationship with the rest of the earth and how humans live with human power as displayed in society and nature. The essay sets the context by recounting the history of the Western and male-led globalization that has occurred in the past five centuries and has upended both culture and nature. It then discusses the hope that humans are entering the world's fourth great revolution, the ecological revolution that is necessary to ensure survival. This leads to a look at the first three revolutions: neolithic agricultural revolutions; the Industrial Revolution, industrial culture, and development and corporations; and the Information Revolution. The essay then considers the notion of sustainable development and distinguishes it from "sustainable society" or "sustainable community" and defines the general principles of a sustainable community as a realization that 1) solutions grow from place, 2) ecological accounting informs design, 3) design should follow a "cradle-to-cradle" rather than a "cradle-to-grave" framework, 4) everyone is a designer, and 5) nature must be made visible. The essay ends with the reminder that faith will be required as a source of renewable moral-spiritual vigor to accomplish the fashioning of a sustainable community on a small planet.
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