Science for Global Sustainability: Toward a New Paradigm
Book Chapter, Earth Systems Analysis for Sustainability
Author: William Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Co-director, Sustainability Science Program; Faculty Chair, ENRP
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Environment and Natural Resources
This paper provides a context for the DahlemWorkshop on "Earth Systems Science and Sustainability."We begin by characterizing the contemporary epoch of Earth history in which humanity has emerged as a major—and uniquely self-reflexive —geological force.We turn next to the extraordinary revolution in our understanding of the Earth system that is now underway, pointing out how it has built on and qualitatively extended the approaches that have served science and society so well since the first Copernican revolution.We then discuss the novel challenges posed by the urgent need to harness science and other forms of knowledge in promoting a worldwide sustainability transition that enhances human prosperity while protecting the Earth’s life-support systems and reducing hunger and poverty. Finally,we provide an overview of how the contributions to this DahlemWorkshop addressed the themes and challenges outlined in this introductory chapter.
- clark chapter 01 - final.pdf (452K PDF)
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