Sustainability needs to become the new metric of success.
In the middle of these trying times, it is important to remember what exactly got us into this mess in the first place. Currently success is judged fiscal year by fiscal year. A fortune 500 company CEO can expect a healthy bonus at the end of every year as long as a series of short term goals is met. There is a fundamental flaw with this model, human nature.
Capitalism is an extension of the opportunistic and predatory nature of man. Like evolution it is blind to the future and unintended consequences. But not in a well developed ecosystem like a forest with predators and prey, but more like bacteria competing for the limited resources of a patch of skin.
If you will grant me a digression, humans are not nearly as evolved as we like to think. Sharks, and alligators have existed in nearly their present forms for hundreds of millions of years, humans on the other hand have maybe 20 thousand years of our greatest asset, cultivation and the ability to support a society apart from hunter-gather groups. All things created by man are subject to mans own shortcomings, and as such our society is inherently flawed as individuals are flawed. Like a fractal image the component part resembles the whole.
I argue then, as we are young and still blindly groping our way from the darkness, the notion that we know better, should always be distrusted. On environmental issues often the interests of profit is carried over the interest of a system, that no matter how many barriers we create, we are still a part of and depend on for critical functions. Human kind would do well to adopt an attitude like a reverse of innocent until proven guilty,