Sustainability has been around since the beginning of time with early man discovering farming as a way to sustain life. Our dependence on foreign imports of energy clearly disengages us from our local environment. The Industrial Revolution solved many problems of production but has disengaged us from who we are in the places that we live. We have come to expect all of our needs to be created and sent to our front door.
Now we are industrial voyeurs, accepting visual entertainment as a substitute for engagement with our neighbors. We go to the gym to attempt to reclaim our bodies as part of our selves instead of walking, gardening, etc. as natural ways of using our bodies in the natural course of feeding and entertaining ourselves. High School graduates cannot fix the cars they will be driving everyday of their lives. They cannot grow their own food. We are all trained to do one specialist task for a paycheck and heaven help us if we ever had to make our own food and energy supply.
The big picture is that the Industrial Revolution is over. The information era is certainly important from a political, war-and-peace standpoint, but it's time to live within our means and within our neighborhoods.