One of the most important ways to ensure social sustainability is to improve social problems. By that I mean improving overall quality of life for people. This includes moving further away from patriarchal ways of thinking, caring for our people rather than allowing this political and financial polarization to take place, treating corporations like people, etc. I strongly believe that development starts with the positive treatment of people, not trying to suck everything you can from them. As far as the population goes, I don’t really see a possible solution. At this point our population will continue to be ever growing and I think it’s too late to reverse what’s happened.
However, I do think we might have a chance at slowing it. Already we see contraceptives are easily accessible, but I don’t think that’s enough. I think we need to enforce sex education as much as possible in schools, and even universities. I think this will mildly help to slow population growth. Overall, the betterment of our world will stem the treatment of our people, and especially how they are educated.
As is has been said, education brings about a great deal for women in relation to declining birth rates and I absolutely agree with this notion. However, as I have learned in my women studies courses, education is indeed helpful but not enough for the developing of women, especially in developing countries where their political structure isn’t the strongest. The equality of women and respect for women overall need to be increased, but sometimes various cultures do not allow for this, so the problem remains. When it comes to birth rates and their decline due to education levels being increased the explanation is a simple one. When women are more educated (and in turn more liberated) they begin to have the power of personal thought and personal liberation. When met with this combination, women start to question their position in their culture politically, economically, and socially. This is when they gather the confidence to fight oppression. They also learn more about sexually transmitted diseases and the harms of having too many children in a developing country (monetarily especially), so are more inclined to limit the amount of children they have to very little or none.
So in result, a combination of female liberation meshed with an education on personal health is what contributes to women having less children. As far as a child law, it does indeed violate human rights, and as we all know the law placed in china didn’t pan out very well. As for your last question, I believe the birth rate decline is due to a combination of the standard of living and the education of women and this combination is such a vital one. We must push for this if we truly care about limiting the population.
To answer the first question, I do not think it is technological advances and economics alone that have contributed to environmental degradation, but rather the speed at which these two factors have blossomed all over the developed and developing world. Then of course, we must add in rapid human population growth that has stemmed from technological improvements in machinery and medicine. I think industrialization is sort of acting like a snowball effect in many parts of the world. It starts off minimal and successful, but then because of all the advances people populate faster and live longer, making sustaining the population more and more demanding and strenuous. I think India (in certain parts) may be able to be an example of that, but Japan would definitely be my number one answer to your second question. For your third, I do not think placing efforts away from economic well being will do anything at this point, because I think there is no reversing the damage we have done. However, I do think technology now has the power to help the environment instead of hurt. I think that is something we should be striving for-using technology and economics to better our situation and find more, less polluting, resources to power our everyday needs on top of altering our lifestyle a bit. (Encouraging or making it an act of the law to recycle, reuse, compost, etc.)
I believe the values held by the Native American we’re very special and evolved as well. I Particularly enjoy the last element you mentioned, “a set of rules of duty and standards of character.” I believe this is the most important of all as well as having morals in relation to the health of nature. However, although these are such beautiful visions I do not think they will ever be possible in this day and age. I am one of those people that has not a shred of hope for humanity in regards to the environment. I believe our population has exploded to the point at which there is no way to reverse our way of living and the ecological damage we have inflicted. I think people could become enlightened by these ideas and moved by them, but I do not think people are willing to sacrifice their comfortable ways of living mentally and physically. People are so caught up in their own illusion, their own way of staying huddled in a hole of happiness and blinded by the media. So how can you awake someone from a dream that is eternally comfortable, especially if they don’t wish to be awoken from it? We were born into this world, when it was already on its road to destruction. With how large the population is, how do we expect people to drastically alter their lives when they have been so content? Our community’s view on nature is always influencing us in many ways. Some views revolve around “evolving” with technology and genetic crops, and others around starting from square A and reaching back towards older ways of living where the environment was safer from our negative influence.
I do believe preservation does restrict our Human attachment with nature. For a good amount of people, separation from nature can be life changing (in a negative way). I personally have a connection with nature and if someone tried to take that away from me I would be a different person, and not one I’d particularly enjoy. I think conservation is more logical, and can maintain human’s positive connection with nature. What’s the point if we cannot enjoy the gifts bestowed upon us (and other life forms) from the earth? We can treasure it and try to conserve it and fight for it, but I don’t think we should have to be forced to be secluded from it because someone thinks it is too valuable to be tampered with. I do agree that nature can be fragile and needs protection, but not of that extent. Humans were born into nature, as were other creatures. It is our birthright to be able to indulge in the fascinating aspects of nature. Aldo Leopold once said that conservation is a state of harmony between men and land. I believe we need to hold true to that statement. I think only that if a part of the environment is truly in need of protection shall we turn to preservation. For instance, certain forests that may contain endangered species or certain plants that have medicinal properties. In the Pacific Northwest there lies a tree called the Pacific yew, a slow-growing tree. This special tree contained promising treatments for ovarian and breast cancer, but wasn’t considered an important tree because people at that time (that burned these tree’s right after “clearcutting”) didn’t realize it had such amazing medicinal properties. These parts of nature, in my opinion, should be subject to preservation. Otherwise, I believe that we should be able to relish what good healthy parts of the environment we have left.