lecture_10_sust_soc_compressed_2009

lecture_10_sust_soc_compressed_2009 - ATTAINING A...

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ATTAINING A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY: INTEGRATING KNOWLEDGE FOR ACTION James R. Karr Lecture 10 June 2, 2009 Attaining a Sustainable Society
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When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. Paul Hawken, 2009
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The Premise Building a sustainable future depends on (1) restructuring the global economy, (2) major shifts in human reproductive and consumptive behavior, and (3) dramatic changes in values and lifestyles. If we do not accomplish this restructuring with the next 3 to 5 decades, (A) environmental deterioration and (B) economic growth are likely to feed on each other, pulling us into a downward spiral of (C) social disintegration.
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Humans are “successful” in many ways. Meet challenges thru advances in knowledge & advances in technology. But success comes with significant consequences. Can no longer ignore serious consequences of actions, especially the many faces of biotic impoverishment. General reluctance to accept this need derives from skewed world view, wrong indicators, and power imbalances. Recognition of challenge has led to Earth Charter, an effort to provide an improved moral compass. SUMMARY
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NEED TO LINK FOUR THINGS 1. Drivers: human reproductive and consumptive behavior 2. Consequences: the many faces of biotic impoverishment 3. Most compelling consequence: inequities and degraded quality of human life 4. Permission given by: poor indicators, power imbalance, skewed views
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Biological Supply and Demand
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Venn Diagrams vs. Layer Cakes
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PRESENT POLICY PROBLEMS Decisionmaking with incomplete information, especially ignore, deny, and distort. Policymaking dominated by simplification or
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lecture_10_sust_soc_compressed_2009 - ATTAINING A...

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