Search Results: A Plan for the Nations

World Population Day 2015

July 11th marked World Population Day 2015. A day designated by the United Nations in 1989 to raise awareness about global population issues and described by US Secretary of State John Kerry “as a reminder of our common responsibility to build a more sustainable and just future.” This year, attention is being focused on vulnerable populations in emergencies […]

This is My Earth: Crowdsourcing Biodiversity Conservation

On June 12th, the International Union for Conservation of Nature released its most recent inventory about mammal populations. The news was mixed:  it is encouraging that a few predator species appear to be rebounding in the U.S. and Europe. But the numbers in Africa remain profoundly discouraging.   There are now “77,340 assessed species” on the IUCN […]

Economic Growth is a meme – a learned idea that we can change and mature

Recently I came across a half page ad in a major newspaper on my morning ferry commute: “Rubber Bands Have Feelings Too – a screenplay by Helina Clarke.” From Advertising Standards Canada, the byline read “creativity is subjective, the truth isn’t.” I laughed out loud. Brilliant! Truth in advertising is a key challenge in the […]

A Degrowth Response to an Ecomodernist Manifesto

A group known as the “ecomodernists,” which includes prominent environmental thinkers and development specialists such as Ted Nordhaus, Michael Shellenberger, Stewart Brand, David Keith, and Joyashree Roy has recently published a statement of principles called An Ecomodernist Manifesto (2015). Many of the authors of the Manifesto are connected to an influential think tank called The Breakthrough Institute. The Manifesto is an attempt […]

Confronting the Elephant in the Living Room

As most aware environmental activists know, the great unacknowledged elephant today is our collective inability to respond effectively to the life diminishing and civilization threatening crisis well underway. To wit: IF Planetary limits have been exceeded or near so, CO2 is leading to climate chaos. We are exceeding the available ecological resource flow, etc. Our […]

Support Sustainability Central’s Fight for a Sustainable Future

Visit the UTS donations page and help Sustainability Central continue its work, headed by Co-Founders Dr Paul R. Ehrlich and Professor Graham Pyke. With almost a century of environmental research and activism between them, their focus turns to building capacity in all of us to continue the fight for a sustainable planet. Who are the […]

TV As Birth Control

How to defuse the population bomb: Provide people with a steady diet of soap operas and reality TV shows that depict modern, urban lifestyles. New research makes a compelling case that when TV ownership rises, fertility falls. Earlier this year Stanford human geographer Martin Lewis asked his students a simple question: How did they think U.S. […]

Why ‘Population Matters’

What is nearest and dearest to your heart: is it animal rights and concern about the extinction of so many species? Do you stay up at night worrying about human rights and reproductive justice? Do you get hot around the collar when you think about climate change? Or is it pollution and toxification of our […]

Advancing the Science of Climate Change

America’s Climate Choices: Panel on Advancing the Science of Climate Change “Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for–and in many cases is already affecting–a broad range of human and natural systems. The compelling case for these conclusions is provided in Advancing the Science of Climate Change, part […]

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises

“Climate is changing, forced out of the range of the past million years by levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not seen in the Earth’s atmosphere for a very, very long time. Lacking action by the world’s nations, it is clear that the planet will be warmer, sea level will rise, and patterns […]

Financing Sustainable Development

Implementing the SDGs through Effective Investment Strategies and Partnerships “Three summits in 2015 will set the stage for international cooperation over the coming decades. In July 2015, governments will convene for the Third Conference on Financing for Development Addis Ababa, which will focus on Financing Sustainable Development (FSD). Two months later, in September 2015, they are scheduled to […]

The Legacy of Lima?

At Yale University October 14th, Todd Stern, the U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change, suggested that – along lines of what is now being termed New Zealand’s approach – the way towards a climate change treaty involves creating fluid parameters on a nation-by-nation basis. Said Stern, if countries come together and work through it according to the […]

It’s Personal: Why leaders don’t turn climate knowledge into action

There is an abundance of profitable business opportunity to be found in addressing sustainability issues. These stand out against the difficulties we face implementing effective change. Globally, the World Bank recently found that tackling climate change would help to grow the world’s economy by US$1.8 to 2.6 trillion a year. Private sector investors argue for […]

If I had a hammer

Currently, we are seeing that the behavior Homo sapiens is not really much different from the other species that occupy our planet.  When overcrowded and with short resources, fighting, malnutrition and disease erupt.  Self-centered, rather than group, behavior dominates.  We listen to a few (economists and religious zealots) who promise that a better future awaits.  We […]

The Occluded Mirror: A Question of True Transparency

So it is now “official”: we can expect to see no stabilization of the human population by 2100. By that time, we are likely to number 11 billion, with at least a meager likelihood of our having hit 13 billion. “Meager” has always boded ill in terms of scientific projections. Our worst nightmares – whether […]

Population, Climate Change, and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

“The prevention of unintended and unwanted pregnancies plays a crucial role with respect to climate change mitigation, particularly in developed nations that have large carbon footprints, but even in the developing world, the prevention of unplanned pregnancies can make a significant contribution to reducing projected levels of carbon emissions.”

Can Earth’s and Society’s Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?

Summary of a Workshop The Earth’s population, currently 7.2 billion, is expected to rise at a rapid rate over the next 40 years. Current projections state that the Earth will need to support 9.6 billion people by the year 2050, a figure that climbs to nearly 11 billion by 2100 (United Nations, 2012). At the […]

Not Yet?

The summer 2014 issue of CALIFORNIA, the magazine of the University of California Alumni Association, was touted as the “Apocalypse Issue.” It contained articles, mostly excellent, on a series of potential California and global problems: asteroid collision, epidemics, extinction, climate disruption and earthquake.  In stark contrast, though, was a summary article, “Apocalypse Later” by Brendan […]

Dodging Extinction

Power, Food, Money and the Future of Life on Earth Paleobiologist Anthony D. Barnosky weaves together evidence from the deep past and the present to alert us to the looming Sixth Mass Extinction and to offer a practical, hopeful plan for avoiding it. Writing from the front lines of extinction research, Barnosky tells the overarching […]

Economists’ Growth Insanity

 Virtually every economist rejects the concept of limiting growth – by which they normally mean growth in GDP.  As Larry Summers, famous as a major cause of the recent U.S. financial disaster, once stated, “The idea that we should put limits on growth because of some natural limit is a profound error, and one that, were […]

How Should We Look at the Chances of Climate Catastrophe?

Is it ironic or predictable that Harvard’s President, Drew Faust, would enter into a Faustian bargain over climate change and the University’s investments in carbon-intensive companies? Let’s suppose that, by pure chance, it turns out that there is a 90% probability that the climate denier campaign paid for or organized by those companies is correct […]

Scientists: Are we all the same?

Science is defined simply as discovery, explanation and presentation (see my earlier post entitled Science explained), but what exactly are scientists? What’s their connection to Science? How important are they? Scientists all have a direct connection with science, but may be categorised on the basis of whether they carry out scientific research, and thus develop […]

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