I feel that if humanity continues on its current course, our connection to nature still wont be severed. Despite the fact we continue to grow without taking extreme measures to consider that our world is a closed system of finite resources, the increasing scarcity of those resources within nature will continually be our wake-up call that our lifestyles are unsustainable. Even though it seems we might not be taking the hint now, I think that our society continues to grow more environmentally conscious as major issues arise and pose threats to our lifestyles.
Capitalism and environmental policies can surely exist together, but under different terms. We have to consider whether or not we are capable of having a form of capitalism without mass consumption; a steady state economy (as proposed by Herman Daly). We must be able to separate our sustainable advances from consumerism, as “green marketing” is only adding to our current issue by using consumers to build a business rather than solutions. There must also be recognition that our economy needs to develop, not grow. Growth currently is under the pressure of raising productivity and demand, where development would better focus on changing our systems, ideals, increasing the quality of things we do produce, and sustainably enhancing the resources we already have.
There is no doubt, especially with many people being deeply rooted in their spirituality, that religions would persist if a new economic system were presented. However, extreme measures will surely have to be taken (and soon) if we are to somehow begin the switch from a completely consumptive to developmentally sustainable society, and this may mean working together to come to commonly accepted ideas of how the environment can be better respected and managed.