Foundations of World Sustainability Professor Wayne Hayes October 16, 2012 V. 1.2 | Build #7 Mood music: What a wonderful world! Louis Armstrong sings so. Agenda October 17, 2012 1. 2. 3. 4. Overview, business, announcements Introductions: Who are we and why are we here? What does sustainability mean? Discussion Foundations of Sustainability: The Brundtland Commission Report: origins and legacy 5. Next class: Economic Aspects of Sustainability My goals here today are to • Get to know you. • Introduce world sustainability through the Brundtland Commission Report • Transition to Economics of Sustainability Introductions 1. Introductions from class: Who I am Why I am here My aspirations and goals 2. Introduction by Professor Hayes 3. History and design of MASS 4. My concerns I keep in mind the SUDS acronym. • • • • Substance: Form and content Urgency: pressing necessity Depth: profound, foundational thought Strategic: effective conduct; savvy, shrewd The Brundtland Commission Report The World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future, 1987 Gro Harlem Brundtland’s Message Who was Gro Harlem Brundtland and what was her background? Brundtland has a resume! • She was born 20 April 1939. • She is a medical doctor with a public health degree. She is former director of the World Health Organization. • A feminist, she was Prime Minister of Norway (1981, 1986– 89, 1990–96), the first woman and youngest ever. • She was chosen to direct the U.N. World Commission on Environment and Development. • Since 2007, she is a special U.N. envoy on climate change. • She is among the Elders --- view the web site. Note the full title of this classic book: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future: From One Earth to One World. Or, simply: The Brundtland Commission Report. Brundtland’s classic definition of sustainable development: "Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.“ (Cited from original report. This is an important but brief section.) View the table of contents of The Brundtland Commission Report Click on the web site of the Report. Study the organization of the report. Professor Hayes will provide background. The scope and breadth of the report is still daunting. • The geographical scope is planet-wide. • The cultural worlds include all peoples, not just U.N. member states. Note the title of the overview, Our Common Future, From One Earth to One World. • The time span is reckoned among generations. Note the Overview of the report. Please scan the Overview but focus on the Global Challenge and the Call for Action. Significant aspects of the message 1. The report’s 21 commissioners approved the final version unanimously. 2. The report boldly contradicted the reigning paradigm of economic globalization. 3. The report redefined development, transcending the imperative of economic growth. 4. The report explicitly welcomed NGOs, defining a role for civil society. The challenge is to reconcile this With this: Sounds familiar? The Brundtland Commission in 1987 attempted to redefine and to reconcile the habitation of the Earth by the human species. This posed a daunting challenge. How does the Brundtland report changes the paradigm? Ecology, economy, and equity are interlocked and embedded in society and must be thought of together. The report states (p. 5): “Ecology and economy are becoming even more interwoven --- locally, regionally, nationally and globally --- into a seamless web of causes and effects” The scope of the report is daunting. • The time perspective is generational. • The geographical scope is global, but attempts to harmonize the interest of poor nations and rich. • The report calls for a synthesis of broad themes: nature, society, and the economy. • The report stands outside the dominant social paradigm of growth. The agents of sustainability were enlarged and made inclusive. As an arm of the U.N., such commissions are generally limited to nation-states. Not so here: • Civil society organizations were central players in the solutions • Poor nations were to be active and not simply a recipient of aid from rich and powerful nations. • The role and status of women was central • All stakeholders were to be empowered and mobilized as agents of sustainability. Population is still important but . . . population is linked to other issues such as 1. The empowerment of women (after all, Brundtland is a feminist) (p. 11) 2. The right of tribal and indigenous people to livelihood, another term for economics. Right after population comes the discussion of food and agriculture: The issue is now food security to include: 1. Agricultural subsidies by the rich countries that hurt farmers in other countries 2. Lack of purchasing power among poor nations as income distribution 3. The need for rural development (pp. 12-13 and later chapters). The report questioned the role of the international economy. 1. The destruction of the environment that was so obvious in the 1980s 2. The growing inequality produced by the global economy 3. The growing debt burden of the poor nations 4. The lack of attention to the shared Commons 5. The lack of economic diversification at the local and regional levels. See specifically the Role of the International Economy. What’s hiding in Brundtland Report? The Brundtland Report was a paradigm shift that altered the assumptions that dominated the existing approach to (economic) development. Brundtland re-defined the core concept: development. The prior definition might be called the Truman Doctrine (1949 Inauguration Speech): "All countries, including our own, will greatly benefit from a constructive program for the better use of the world's human and natural resources. Experience shows that our commerce with other countries expands as they progress industrially and economically.“ Truman articulated a doctrine that implied that progress for the multitude of the world's peoples and cultures was to be found through emulating the material progress of the USA and its partners in what was then called the Free World (WSY Wiki). Wolfgang Sachs explains the assumptions of the Truman doctrine. "Truman's imperative to develop meant that societies of the Third World were no longer seen as diverse and incomparable possibilities of human living arrangements but were rather placed on a single 'progressive track,' judged more or less advanced according to the criteria of the Western industrial nations. Greater production is the key to prosperity and peace. And the key to greater production is a wider and more vigorous application of modern scientific and technical knowledge" (Sachs, 4). The Brundtland Report set the stage for the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. The Earth Summit created Agenda 21 to guide local implementation. The triple bottom line was made explicit. See my wiki page for a discussion. Global population now poised to reach seven billion on Halloween, 2011. The human ecological footprint exceeds Earth’s carrying capacity. The ecological footprint is the amount of biologically productive land and water needed to produce and to consume the goods and to absorb the the waste to support all of us. The human ecological footprint steadily grows, unevenly. 2008 data Foundations of Sustainability: Web Resources • Professor Hayes’s web page for our classes together • The Brundtland Report online • The Executive Summary of the Report • The definition of sustainability from the report Background to the Brundtland Commission Report 1. See my summary wiki page on Brundtland. 2. Examine my Prelude to Brundtland. 3. The reception by the Reagan administration was chilly. The report clearly responded to Prime Minister Thatcher’s TINA: There was an alternative. Statement of Concern Read my online statement for class discussion. The stakes are high, the trends disturbing, crises intersect --- or soon will. What do you think? But we can . . . Imagine: John Lennon Next class Introduction to Economic Aspects of Sustainability. See my Foundations of Sustainability web site.