20 min presentation on the law of sustainability, presented by Sally Goerner, Bernard Lietaer and Robert Ulanowicz.
- Why we need this law: our world is not sustainable.
- The law of sustainability and its key terms defined: flow of energy, matter and information; sustainability; resilience; efficiency
- More important for mankind than Newton’s law of universal gravitation.
Abstract: This presentation reviews key concepts in sustainability and asks deep questions about why there are so many symptoms of environmental crises present in the world today (climate disruption, mass species extinctions, nitrogen cycle disruption, ocean acidification, crises with food, energy, and water, and many more). These symptoms relate to the prevailing approach, in which we use reductionist mental models and treat living and environmental systems as if they are mechanisms. However, contrary to machines, ecological systems show much resilience and capacity to self-organize, regenerate, increase their organization and complexity, and improve their environment over time. We propose that achieving a sustainable world will require a shift in the way we approach life and life sciences. The good news is that such a shift is possible now, without the need of waiting for new technologies, and is limited only by our willingness.
This paper shows how the Energy System Sciences provide the theoretical backbone and empirical substance we need to connect findings from across the human and natural sciences in a way that is practical, rigorous, and heart-warming at the same time. Our premise is that the same energy science that explains systemic health in ecosystems can be used to create an empirical explanation of systemic health in human systems too. This integrated understanding of planetary health directly addresses the underlying socio-economic drivers of today’s crises in a rigorous yet emotionally compelling picture of how to save civilization socially, economically and environmentally.
The “Law of the Sustainability of Living Systems”, developed with other experts, explains and specifies the principles of sustainability: It says that living systems are only sustainable if they achieve a balance between productivity and elasticity. Balance, therefore, between short-term benefits of long-term existence. Just like that of Yin and Yang – not an “either – or”. We violate this law criminally. We have driven most living systems out of balance, making them non-sustainable.. Mono-cultures of all kinds, for example, emphasize short-term benefits and are not even sustainable in the short term without massive additional costs, as Lietaer shows with the example of forests and today’s monetary system. The book calls on readers to ensure that this law of sustainability is recognized and complied with. Both as individuals and as leaders in business and politics, readers are challenged to balance the short-sighted overvaluation of rapid return with the preservation of resilience.
Whole-systems thinking has to be a transdisciplinary activity that maps and integrates relationships, flows and perspectives into a dynamic understanding of the structures and processes that drive how the system behaves.
We can reduce the world to a whole just as easily as we can reduce it to a collection of parts. Neither the whole nor parts are primary; they come into being through the dynamic processes that define their identity through relationships and networks of interactions.
We should regard the boundaries that delineate one system from another as places of connection and exchange rather than barriers that separate or isolate.
Reproduced from: http://donellameadows.org/archives/envisioning-a-sustainable-world/ Envisioning a Sustainable World By Donella Meadows~ Written for the Third Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Ecological Economics, October 24-28, 1994, San Jose, Costa Rica1 Key Words vision, sustainability, hunger, policy Abstract Vision is the most vital step in the policy process. If we don’t know where we want to go,… Read More
Reproduced from: https://hackernoon.com/design-for-human-and-planetary-health-a-transdisciplinary-approach-to-sustainability-e83ed741c63d Design for human and planetary health: a transdisciplinary approach to sustainability WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, Vol 99, © 2006 WIT Press, ISSN 1743–3541 (on-line) D. C. Wahl, Centre for the Study of Natural Design, University of Dundee, Scotland, UK Abstract This paper explores various integrative frameworks that are contributing to… Read More
Reproduced from: https://medium.com/age-of-awareness/bioregionalism-living-with-a-sense-of-place-at-the-appropriate-scale-for-self-reliance-a8c9027ab85d Bioregionalism — Living with a Sense of Place at the Appropriate Scale for Self-reliance An excerpt from ‘Exploring Participation’ (D.C.Wahl, 2002) “Living-in-place means following the necessities and pleasures of life as they are uniquely presented by a particular site, and evolving ways to ensure long-term occupancy of that site. A society which practices living-in-place keeps… Read More
Reproduced from: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/10/5/1422/htm Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1422; doi: 10.3390/su10051422 Concept Paper Eating Our Way to Sustainability? Leisure, Food and Community Economic Development Jennifer Sumner Adult Education and Community Development Program, OISE/University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1V6, Canada Received: 24 March 2018 / Accepted: 2 May 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018 Abstract This article reviews and… Read More