Growing global crises will dominate our lives and the lives of our children.
Over the next few decades the collapse of major ecosystems will accelerate, negatively affecting the human economies that depend on them. If the industrial system with its expansionist consumer culture continues to degrade the environment, growing economic and social crises will inevitably destroy civilization as we know it.
However, positive outcomes are also possible. Sustainable values, theories, technologies and social organizations are emerging. These are networking together and beginning to develop post-industrial societal structures and economic processes.
Humanity has the potential to transform the existing unsustainable system into a sustainable system.
These trends are explored in Collapse and Transformation and in Evolution’s Edge.
Illustrated Article: Collapse & Transformation
Industrial civilization will soon collapse. We examine three issues: why global industrial civilization is unsustainable, what the requirements are for a sustainable civilization, and how we can help a peaceful and sustainable civilization come into being.
Graphic Presentation: Collapse and Transformation
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
This graphic presentation is designed to demonstrate that the world as we know it is about to be transformed.
Article: Spaceship Earth Mission Assurance
We feel safe taking plane trips because we know that airplanes are designed and maintained to ensure maximum safety. If our children are to have lives worth living, we need to apply the methods and standards used in the aerospace industry to the problem of preserving a safe environment and ensuring a safe future.
Book: Introduction to Evolution's Edge
Albert Einstein said that problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them. Because the global system creates problems like war, poverty, and environmental destruction, it cannot solve them. But they could be solved at a different level — by a new type of planetary civilization with different views, values, and social institutions.
Table of Contents for Evolution's Edge
Article: The Requirements of a Sustainable Planetary System
The global system is now environmentally and socially unsustainable. It is based on destructive views and values that promote competition, exploitation, inequality, fear, violence, and waste. For a global system to be sustainable, it must be based on constructive values that enable environmental, social, and individual needs to be fully met. We need to support their development through presenting a clear and unifying vision of a sustainable alternative. The Earth Charter is the cornerstone of this vision.
Article: The Role of Environmental Accounting in Preventing Global Catastrophe
If our species is to survive, we need a better understanding of the problems we face and their solutions. Our current economic and accounting models are incapable of even grasping the existence of many critical environmental problems. Accounting systems that value existing material wealth but not the future of our children are not only flawed, but dangerous. Their failure to value other life forms puts the survival of our own species at risk. Valuing private profit over community promotes social inequality and conflict. The most important task of environmental accounting is to explain that the real bottom line is not financial profits but survival, and the survival of most species and our advanced civilizations is now at risk.
Article: Plan B for the Fossil-Fuel Industry
In the coming decades humanity will have to come to grips with the finite ability of our planet to produce resources and absorb pollution. At the same time we will need to meet the needs of the poor majority of the world’s people for more commodities, including adequate housing, sanitation, transportation, education, and health. "Plan B for the fossil-fuel industry" is a win-win approach: it can prevent most industrial carbon pollution; it can meet the demand for sustainable economic growth; and it can draw down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Article: The Next 20 Years: A Time of Transformation
The key to understanding future developments is recognising hat the two major trends shaping global events—worsening problems and emerging olutions—are interconnected. Growing economic and environmental crises will soon reach ipping points that focus public attention on the existence of both dangerous threats and iable solutions. Then (and only then) will most leaders begin to make transformational decisions.
Article: A Win-Win Strategy for Fossil-Fuel Producers and Environmentalists
Resolving the climate/energy dilemma will not be easy, but it can be done. We do not have to choose between the environment and the economy, or between the interests of the developed and the developing world. There are win-win solutions.
Article: A Realistic (Holistic) Approach to Climate Mitigation
This article examines the Paris Climate Conference (COP) 21 agreement on climate mitigation; explains why current efforts are based on false assumptions and likely to fail; argues that holistic, integrative methods are needed to avoid disaster; and uses these methods to develop a three-track strategy for accelerating systemic transformation.
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.