Our Common Journey: A Transition toward Sustainability Summarized by: Asa Young Me 449 Husar Our Common Journey: The 4 Concerns 2 What is to be developed? 1 What is to be sustained? Sustainable Development: “the ability of humanity to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." 3 What types of links should exist between 1 & 2? 4 What is the extent of the future envisioned? Trends & Transitions: A Coupled Plan Earth’s Environment Human Development GOALS: Trends & Transitions 1. Demographic 2. Health • Meeting Human Needs • Preserving Life Support Systems • Reducing Hunger & Poverty 3. Economic 4. Civil Society Trends & Transitions 5. Environmental Strategies for Exploring the Future Strategies need scientific credibility, political legitimacy, practical utility, and effectiveness. Discussed Types Study Panels w/ Knowlegable People Elicitation of Expert Judgment Internally Consistent Narratives Strategic Gaming Extrapolating Present Trends w/ Statistics Causal Modeling Integrated Assessment Models Scenario Building Strength Accesses understanding that goes beyond data Quantitative Incorporates norms and values Integrates scientific modeling and human ingenuity Capture underlying forces Incorporates scientifically verifiable relationships Manages a large amount of diverse information Gauge emerging risks Weakness Concensus Seeking Possibly Incorrect Not Scientific Useless Conclusions No Causal Understanding Demands Data Difficult to Incorporate Data Idiosyncratic Environmental Threats & Opportunities: Major Concerns Table 4.1 Assessments of the Importance of Environmental Hazards • What are the greatest threats that humanity will encounter as it attempts to navigate the transition to sustainability? • What are the most promising opportunities for avoiding or circumventing these threats on the path to sustainability? Sources: UNCED (1992); World Bank (1992); WRI (1996); UNEP (1982) ; Easterbrook (1995); Centre for Science and Environment (1995); Council on Environmental Quality and Department of State (1982); Brown (1956). Reporting on the Transition: Indication of the Worst Fundamental Idea of Sustainable Development: “humans can impair the life support systems of the natural world, calling forth responses intended to protect environmental quality.” The P-S-R Framework for designing Indicators Critical Regions Indicators are repeated observations of natural and social phenomena that represent systematic feedback. Indicators are essential to inform society over the coming decades how, and to what extent, progress is being made in navigating a transition toward sustainability. Source: Redrawn from Kasperson et al. (1995). Courtesy of United Nations University Press. Integrating Knowledge & Action: A Research Method Research Priorities Develop a research framework for the science of sustainable development that integrates global and local perspectives to shape a place-based understanding of the interactions between environment and society. Intellectual Foundations Biological Geophysical Social Technological Integrative Science Combine above fields Combine regions Place Based Science Critical Issues Diversity vs. Manageability Figure 6.1 Four interlinked, research-based components of sustainability science.