In 2050, the billions of people living on Earth have found a way
to manage the planetary system effectively. Everyone has access to
adequate food, shelter, and clean water. Human health is no longer
considered outside of the health of the ecosystems in which people
live. Ecological awareness is an integral part of education. People
respond effectively to social and environmental hazards, and
societies care for the most vulnerable amongst them. The economy,
too, has shifted. Carbon dioxide management is under control, and
energy efficiency is the norm. The remaining rainforests have been
preserved. Coral reefs are recovering. Fish stocks are thriving. Is
any of this really possible? How can our complex social and
economic systems interact with a complex planetary system
undergoing rapid change to create a future we all want?
This book is a contextualised collation of ideas articulated by
the 50 participants of the Planet 2050 workshop held in Lund in
October 2008, as part of The Planet in 2050, an interdisciplinary
Fast Track Initiative of the International Geosphere-Biosphere
Programme. Participants were selected from academia and the
sustainability practice community to give a wide-ranging,
multi-cultural, trans-disciplinary set of perspectives.
This collection explores four broad sectoral themes: energy and
technologies; development, economies and culture; environment; and
land use change. By doing so, this book emphasises the importance
of a social dialogue on our collective future, and our
responsibility to the Earth. It makes strong statements about what
needs to happen to the global economy for a sustainable future and
documents a new kind of scholarly discussion, engaging people from
diverse knowledge communities in a spirit of exploration and
reflexivity. The book provides a focus for dialogue and further
study for postgraduates and researchers interested in global change
as a multi-faceted, socio-environmental phenomenon, and as the book
is written in an accessible scholarly style, assuming no prior
specialist knowledge, it is also suitable for those involved in
sustainability initiatives and policy."
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