Young people are being encouraged to embrace the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals defined by the UN following the success of some of the Millennium Development goals. Global poverty has been markedly reduced while education of the poor substantially improved this century.
However, the goals are no more than wishful thinking as they are not based on what is physically possible. The primary objective of sustainable development is not possible because the operations of industrialized civilization irreversibly use up limited natural resources, produces irrevocable waste material and degrades the terrestrial and marine eco systems. This operation is an unsustainable process.
The most that sound policies can do is slightly ameliorate some of the seventeen listed predicaments. This, of course, would be admirable and is a remedial policy to be encouraged even though it is based on an anthropocentric delusion. Those who contribute to enabling these processes will have the satisfaction of doing something that is clearly worthwhile. This movement by the young will tend to counter to a small degree the common wide spread aspiration for a high material standard of living regardless of the deleterious impact on the environment and the disadvantaged people. It will give the smart youngsters pride in easing some of the problems created by the unwise decisions of their elders and ancestors. However, they need to understand that there is a practical limit to what can be done in regressing to cope with the identified predicaments. The Sustainable Development Goals are only a pie in the sky!
However, it is expected that ELAM (Earth's Lodgers' Activity Movement) will provide a more realistic agenda for the young to embrace in coping with the inevitable powering down during the coming decline of industrialized civilization. How will society cope with the rapidly decreasing land, sea and air transportation capabilities as liquid fuels become very scarce? How will they cope with decreasing communication capabilities as electronic devices and electricity become very scarce?