Today, the world lives in the 21st century. This phrase in itself is very powerful and important. It stands for all that the human generation has learnt from the industrial revolution and the two world wars in the 20th century. The human race has survived the numerous wars and the holocaust, reached moon and beyond, seen huge shifts in climate pattern, understood the complexities of climate and environment, won over many deadly diseases, nuclear aftermath in both peaceful and war situations and made huge technological strides.
The US still has a miles long advantage as it remained in the forefront on all the above achievements and failures. This makes the US best placed to define and move ahead in the best way towards a sustainable future.
Today, US comprise of 4% of the total world population (3rd most populous country after China and India) and yet consumes nearly 20% of the energy sources. The immigration both legal and illegal still tremendously impacts the country population. This is true from the consumption perspective (energy, food, natural resources) for the US and is true for India or China from a lack of resources perspective.
The issues facing the sustainable development in US are from the current policy paralysis in multiple directions (energy fulfillment, joblessness, homelessness, food wastage, lack of innovation, loss of manufacturing jobs, renewable energy adaption, ongoing draught, water pollution, failing infrastructure, etc.) . There needs to be a sustained long-term comprehensive policy where the federal and state government are aligned towards the US sustainability goals. The people should be equally invested into the idea without any ideological differences (political or otherwise) in the very genesis of the issues. The perils of industrial development are a fact; as per the EPA estimates, 60% of US water bodies are threatened or impaired. Flint and Passaic rivers are just couple of examples. US policy makers cannot ignore or deny the existence of such environmental issues any more and there needs to be an alignment in the priorities of people and government.
A strong economy and a strong political will can only solve the issues of present to protect the environment and ensure a safe future. The people of US need to increase their understanding on the environment, climate change and take a holistic view to development. This approach can only bring in the desired political alignment and ensure a sustainable and safe future for Unite States and the world.