Let's take your issues one by one:
The debt has gotten so serious. Along with borrowing from China. Is it really sustainable?
Sure. Why wouldn't it be? The more we owe to China or anyone else the more vested they are in our success. As long as we maintain policies that allow us to be a vigorous participant in international trade, foreign debt is entirely sustainable.
What we are doing to the earth is another whole world of problems. Deforestation, overfishing the oceans, coming water shortages, etc etc etc.
Perhaps. But there is plenty of sustainable agriculture, forestry, fishing, and other use of resources in the world. Most of the richer, developed countries actually do a pretty good job of using resources sustainably. Not all resources of course, but the real problems with poor resource utilization are more prominent in very poor countries. The US is sucking down far more than its share of oil but in most of the other areas you named we are a model for the world. We may not be perfect but that is only because we hold ourselves to very high standards.
We're going to run into major difficulties unless something is done in the broadest sense. These factors are all tied together with the economy.
Sure, it all goes back to the economy. But what specifically do you blame the economy for?
The population is too high
Which population? In the US and much of Europe, one of the contributors to our problems is demographics. A growing population might be welcomed. Population growth in the third world, China and India, is where the problem lies.
We need new ideas to open new markets, to begin to grow in new directions.
Which new markets do you propose opening? Or perhaps it is better to ask, which markets do you believe are closed to us? I can think of only two: North Korea and Cuba. Something tells me that those markets will not be our salvation when they eventually open.
Look into my post and you might find more. We have inherent problems, not solvable by tracking each problem individually. The real problem is within human nature...The base problem is centeredness on the self-> solution is selfless compassion toward all sentient things. Then it will be made right.
Are you suggesting we develop a pill to "fix" human nature? We are predators. We are always going to do what we must to eat in a broad sense. I'd say the bigger problem is not accepting that simple fact. Greed is what has driven human innovation for millenia and will continue to do so. We developed tools, spears, food storage technology, banking, and atomic bombs because we are a species driven by greed. Compassion is fine and all that, but it does not lead to a solution to the problems you mentioned. Compassionate fishing leads to starvation. Sustainable fishing based on ensuring the resource is there for your son to eat and make a living off of is beneficial to everyone. You can extend that idea to most problems. It's not about emotion or compassion, it's about economics. When the economics are made right most problems fix themselves.
Would you agree that, if everyone took more responsibility in general, our current state would be different than what it is today? I'm talking about everyone taking responsiblity for who they are. I'm talking about the greed that has become so pervasive in society, I'm talking about runaway materialism for self gain, Im talking about spending money that we actually don't have and shunting it off on someone else (future generations) and I'm talking about the raping the earth and I'm talking along these lines and more. We must see the source of all this in a true light, if it is ever to be corrected.
Greed is good. I would agree that we have borrowed way too much from our future and that individuals who do so need to face up to their excesses and live well beneath their means, even if their means are slight. There are many of us who HAVE taken responsibility all of our lives. We've done just fine. Do we suddenly need to do more just because things have come to a crisis and others can no longer live off of the rest of us? I'm pretty sure that I have paid far more than my share of the government debt. Have you? Income tax revenues are about $1 trillion per year or about $3500 per person. My wife and I pay 5 times that much each. Social taxes are about $2600 per person while we pay about 3 times that, all so that we will get reduced social security at a later age when we are older because we have been responsible. Do you pay your fair share of taxes? And that's at the reduced rate for 2011!
If I take the full federal debt, about 16 trillion, divide by the population, about 300 million, I get about $50000 per person. While the numbers seem big, its not all that hard for people to pay off $50000 in debt over a few years, especially if we stop adding to it. Frankly, if everyone paid their fair share of taxes we'd have the debt paid off within a few years.
I really don't understand your point.