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Philosophy and History of Sustainable Development
 

Philosophy and History of Sustainable Development

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Lecture on a breof history of sustainable devleopment as well as some of the philisophical isses that make it difficult to define

Lecture on a breof history of sustainable devleopment as well as some of the philisophical isses that make it difficult to define

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  • There are however advantages to the term sustainable devleop

Philosophy and History of Sustainable Development Philosophy and History of Sustainable Development Presentation Transcript

  • MSc Sustainable Development Gregory Borne
  • 1. Background to SD2. Political evolution and time line3. Perspectives4. Inter-disciplinarity5. Sustainability Science6. Activity
  • •Understandingsustainabledevelopment is apersonal journey•The following is myinterpretation of theimportant issues•Develop your ownapproach(epistemology)
  •  Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Brundtland 1987-Our Common Future ) Development? Needs? Compromise?
  •  Oxymoron- Contradiction in terms Fuzzy concept –means all things to all people no real world relevance, ineffective for policy development Worse still - A means for continuing legitimisation of global strategies of development which will continue the hegemony of the northern industrialised countries
  •  Acceptance- of the unsustainable nature current developmental pathways –creation of global risks such as global warming Focal Point- A concept that disparate organisations and institutions can come together around and try to look for solutions Orchestration of the sciences – Promotes inter- disciplinarity –New world views that reflect real world problems
  •  Not just an academic subject of study but: ◦ a paradigmatic shift in the way we look at the world, nature and humankind; ◦ a change that requires rigorous thinking about the interconnections and interdependencies between the physical, the social and the intellectual worlds
  • Time Line1962Rachel Carson publishes "Silent Spring". Detrimental effects of pesticides onthe environment, particularly on birds. Carson accused the chemical industryof spreading disinformation, and public officials of accepting industry claimsuncritically.1968 –Paul Ehrlich publishes book "Population Bomb"“The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millionsof people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked uponnow. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the worlddeath rate”The Club of Rome. Its goal is to pursue a holistic understanding of andsolutions to the world problematique.The UN General Assembly authorizes the Human Environment Conference tobe held in 1972.
  • Picture of the Earth by the crew of the Apollo 17United Nations Conferenceon Human Environment heldin StockholmUnited Nations EnvironmentProgrammeClub of Rome publishes"Limits to Growth".OPEC oil crisis fuels limits togrowth debate
  • 1980-20121980 - Independent Commission on International Development publishes "North:South - A Programmefor Survival" (Brandt Report). It asks for a re-assessment of the notion of development and calls for anew economic relationship between North and South.1982 - The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is adopted. It establishes material rules concerningenvironmental standards as well as enforcement provisions dealing with pollution of the marineenvironment.1983 - World Commission on Environment and Development forms. Chaired by Norwegian PrimeMinister Gro Harlem Brundtland, the commission works for three years to weave together a report onsocial, economic, cultural, and environmental issues.1987 - "Our Common Future" Brundtland Report) published. It ties problems together and, for the firsttime, gives some direction for comprehensive global solutions. It also popularizes the term "sustainabledevelopment".1987 - Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is adopted1988 - Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change established with three working groups to assess themost up-to-date scientific, technical and socio-economic research in the field of climate change.1992 - U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro. It results inthe publication of Agenda 21, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Framework Convention onClimate Change, the Rio Declaration, and a statement of non-binding Forest Principles.2002- WSSD – World Summit on Sustainable Development2012-Rio + 20 – Institutional change for sustainable development/ Green economy
  •  http://www.earthsummit2012.org/beta/sustainable-development-timeline
  • 3. Perspectives
  • Three Pillars approachEmphasizes the integration betweeneconomy, environment and societyA good starting point forunderstanding SD but a morecomplex perspective is needed
  •  STRONG Vs WEAK SD
  •  A radical reordering of economic, social and environmental relationships Changing the existing developmental processes significantly Alter processes of consumption and Production Alterations to the capitalist ethos and what this means –Capitalism doesn‟t work Eco-Centric
  •  Operating inside the existing system but greening capatalism. Technological fixes – Green technology (Ecological Modernisation) Behavioural change – Incentives taxation Fiscal Behavioural Anthropocentric
  • Metaphor Domain DescriptionEthical Paradox Ethical Refers to the inconsistency between the term sustainable and developmentNatural Capital Stock Material Refers to the quantifiable natural assets of the earths biosphere upon which development is based, a position utilised frequently in the natural sciencesFairness Social Includes issues of social equity , equal rights for development, democracy, public participation and empowermentEco-form Spatial Refers to the built environment and the sustainability of human habitatIntegrative Management Refers to a holistic perspective onmanagement sustainable development, considering , economic, social and environmental perspectivesGlobal Discourse Political Refers to a unifying global discourse, the unifying image of one earthUtopian Visionary Refers to the achievement of a perfect sustainable society.
  • 3.Disciplines andInter-disciplinarity
  •  Why are todays problems different from previous centuries or even decades?Climate Change Complex Uncertain Ambiguous Non –linear
  •  The very nature of these problems causes challenges traditional disciplines As Jeffrey Sachs recognises „The problems just refuse to arrive in the neat categories of academic departments‟ Sachs, J. (2008) Common Wealth, Economics for a Crowded Planet
  • Structuring modes of academic practiceCommunities of scholars who: Specialize in some aspects of knowledge; Share interests, concepts, methods and ways of knowing the world Share a particular way of thinking about the nature of reality and knowledge
  • Mono-disciplinarity Approach using one discipline aloneUni-directional disciplinarity Approach driven largely by one disciplineMulti-disciplinarity Involvement of multiple disciplines but with little or no integration of knowledge. CompetitionInter-disciplinarity Several disciplines working together to produce knowledge greater than the sum of the whole. CooperationTrans-disciplinarity Integrated knowledge across several disciplines that leads to new knowledge paradigms within the disciplines themselves as well as research results
  • Is it a science which seeks to maintain the scale of human society within physically defined carrying capacity of planet? ◦ Interdisciplinary endeavor: ecology, biology, physics, chemistry, etc. plus policy sciences ◦ Transdisciplinary endeavor: ethics, philosophy, psychology, economics, cultural values, etc.
  • Sustainability Goals Social Environmental Systems systemsSustainability Science
  •  Multiple issues have to be consideredApossible approach is the following matrix
  • Meeting Human Needs for… while Preserving Life Support Systems of…
  •  A system is a perceived as a whole whose elements are interconnected Systems thinking has developed a substantial body of knowledge drawn from a number of areas of study including: Cybernetics, ecology and complexity theory Emphasises the positive and the negative interactions within a system.
  •  The use of pesticides on crops is one example of how a solution to one problem has created greater problems. While trying to combat a pest or disease to improve food production, pesticides in many cases have disrupted ecosystems, some of which indirectly support the crop being grown and have had adverse health effects on people from pesticide residues on food crops
  • TRADITIONAL SCIENCE  SUSTAINABILITY SCIENCE Mechanistic  Evolutionary Curiosity-driven  Problem-driven; problem-solving Value free  Value inclusive Divide and conquer  Integrate and be open No direct policy user  Potential users included Reduce and eliminate the rest  Systemic, complex system Expert / corporate dominated  Extended peer-reviewed Profit /prestige seeking  Socially relevant Linear evolution of  Non-linear evolution of knowled knowledge  Place-based analysis Product focused  Process focused, capacity buildin (paper, patent, …)
  •  Metaphors of Sustainable Development
  • Metaphor Domain DescriptionEthical Paradox Ethical Refers to the inconsistency between the term sustainable and developmentNatural Capital Stock Material Refers to the quantifiable natural assets of the earths biosphere upon which development is based, a position utilised frequently in the natural sciencesFairness Social Includes issues of social equity , equal rights for development, democracy, public participation and empowermentEco-form Spatial Refers to the built environment and the sustainability of human habitatIntegrative Management Refers to a holistic perspective onmanagement sustainable development, considering , economic, social and environmental perspectivesGlobal Discourse Political Refers to a unifying global discourse, the unifying image of one earthUtopian Visionary Refers to the achievement of a perfect sustainable society.
  •  What might be the problems of using this sort of framework for Understanding SD Says little about the use of sustainable development in political contexts Cross overs between metaphors – the metaphors are not exclusive
  •  Fill in the Blanks What issues do you think should go in the description Colum? What is wrong with the Knowledge Map? What is missing? How would you change it?