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Abstract

Societies, like individuals, can get trapped in patterns of behavior called social traps or “societal addictions” that provide short-term rewards but are detrimental and unsustainable in the long run. Examples include our societal addiction to inequitable over-consumption fueled by fossil energy and a “growth at all costs” economic model. This paper explores the potential to learn from successful therapies at the individual level. In particular, Motivational Interviewing (MI) is one of the most effective therapies. It is based on engaging addicts in a positive discussion of their goals, motives, and futures. We suggest that one analogy to MI at the societal level is a modified version of scenario planning (SP) that has been extended to engage the entire community (CSP) in thinking about goals and alternative futures via public opinion surveys and forums. Both MI and CSP are about exploring alternative futures in positive, non-confrontational ways and building commitment or consensus about preferred futures. We conclude that effective therapies for societal addictions may be possible, but, as we learn from MI, they will require a rebalancing of effort away from only pointing out the dire consequences of current behavior (without denying those consequences) and toward building a shared vision of a positive future and the means to get there.

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... To continue benefiting from nature in the future, each one of us needs to realize our dependence on, and embrace a way of life that is in harmony with, nature [50]. As HDR [37] suggests, the world should focus more on sustainable work that doesn't put people at risk. ...
... Limiting our needs to the necessary materials for affording sustainable living and applying integrated knowledges to manage and improve natural systems that supply those materials, is a much-needed approach [51,52]. To do so, a radical change for how we value materials and nature is absolutely required. ...
... Inculcating right moral or spiritual values can make us envisage ourselves as part of nature, rather than separate from nature. We need to adopt simple but active attitudes towards solving common environmental problems that help resolve our addictions for goods and materials [51]. Our current local, regional, and global socio-political and environmental situations beckon a mass cross-border radical movement to save 'our home' by inculcating a sense of 'satisfaction' for material needs and practising right ethics. ...
... Our argument builds on recent economic sociology and social philosophy literature. Particularly, on the concepts of (a) 'fictional expectations', a shared imagined future differing from an extrapolation of the present that fosters involvement and investment in a new trajectory (Beckert 2016a;2013), and (b) 'societal addictions' (Costanza et al. 2017). ...
... Then we analyse the social function of imaginaries of the future, their cognitive and communicative aspect and how they acquire social recognition. Subsequently, we show the potential of the CE model to overcome 'societal addictions' as being aligned with Costanza et al.'s (2017) proposal to apply individual therapies (Motivation Interviewing) to the entire community (Community Scenario Planning) in order to tackle societal addictions that trap societies into destructive behaviour. We conclude summarising this article contribution, its limitations as well as suggesting future research lines. ...
... 640). This rhetorical dimension of fictional expectations is what allows social actors entering an open and broad conversation and sharing a common vision of the future, which in Costanza et al. (2017) terminology, which we discuss in section 4, would correspond to engaging and focusing, respectively. ...
Article
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Circular economy thinking has become the subject of academic enquiry across several disciplines recently. Yet whilst its technical and business angles are more widely discussed, its philosophical underpinnings and socioeconomic implications are insufficiently investigated. In this article, we aim to contribute to their understanding by uncovering the circular economy role in shaping a new vision, highlighting the social and economic dimensions of future imaginaries and the mechanisms that can enable them to bring about change in the social context. We believe that defining the vision that the circular economy is contributing to shape is key to explain its conceptual framework and activities. Drawing on the concept of fictional expectations, we uncover one of the plausible social dimensions inherent to the circular economy thinking thereby opening up a new perspective on the current debate in the circular economy literature wherein authors, by contrast, are emphasising the lack of an explicit social dimension. Fictional expectations are introduced to refer to those imaginaries of the future that can catalyse social action in the present and counteract societal addictions, in which modern society seems to be trapped. We show how a circular economy inspired vision can be instrumental to the emergence of a fictional expectation that can provide therapies to the current societal addiction of wasteful production and consumption systems. This philosophical background allows us to provide, in conclusion, a new conceptualisation of the circular economy as a cognitive framework instrumental to the emergence of a future imaginary.
... By iteratively asking "why" the important indirect drivers exist and "what" causes them to lead to harmful outcomes, it is possible to identify and define a set of key underlying causes behind socio-ecological unsustainability. For example, the structural reliance or "societal addiction" [43,44] to economic growth has been identified as an underlying cause that not only maintains harmful behavioral reinforcements and restricts the available solution space, but also prevents the application of critical policy changes that would internalize externalities and correct telecouplings [31,38,40,44,45]. Similarly, the reliance of countries on international trade has been recognized as an underlying cause that drives down ecological and social standards, creates global inequality, and prevents countries from acting on sustainability [14,45]. ...
... This has to be the general order of action, because addressing the later phases (threats, pressures, and drivers) without first fixing the earlier phases (underlying causes and obstacles) is like swimming against a strong current [43]. Adding ad hoc fixes that work against the structural incentives creates inefficiency and wasted resources at best, and an unsustainable fix at worst. ...
... Given global impact inequalities among higher and lower income nations [19,45,52,53], it is particularly important to weaken the societal reliance on consumerism and growth in high-income nations while increasing the weight given to ecological and societal wellbeing considerations in decision-making at all levels [40,43,[54][55][56][57]. In terms of sustainability, it is also worth to emphasize that for national and international decision-making to be "just", it must not further disadvantage the underprivileged or favor those already in positions of advantage, which would amplify harmful inequalities [11,15,26,58]. ...
Article
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The scientific community and many intergovernmental organizations are now calling for transformational change to the prevailing socioeconomic systems, to solve global environmental problems, and to achieve sustainable development. Leverage point frameworks that could facilitate such transformative system change have been created and are in use, but major issues remain. Scholars use the leverage point term in multiple contradicting ways, often confusing it with system outcomes or specific interventions. Accordingly, the underlying structural causes of unsustainability have received insufficient consideration in the proposed actions for transformational change. In this work, I address these issues by clarifying the definition for leverage points and by integrating them into a new blueprint for transformational change, with clarified structure and clearly defined transformational change terminology. I then theoretically demonstrate how the nine phases of the blueprint could be applied to both plan and implement transformational change in a socio-ecological system. Although the blueprint is designed to be applied for socio-ecological systems at national and international scales, it could also be applied to plan and implement transformational change in various sub-systems.
... Auch auf gesellschaftlicher Ebene kommen ähnliche Zusammenhänge vor. In der Wissenschaft wird hier von "Social Traps", also sozialen Fallen gesprochen, bei denen lokale oder individuelle Anreize nachhaltigen gesellschaftlichen Zielen entgegenstehen (Costanza et al., 2017). Ein Beispiel ist die Nahrungsmittelproduktion: Ob es um die Überfischung der Meere, die Überdüngung der Böden oder den Einsatz schädlicher Pestizide geht -die kurzfristige Steigerung von Erträgen und somit finanziellen Vorteilen steht dem langfristigen Erhalt von Lebensgrundlagen und natürlichen Grundlagen der Nahrungsmittelproduktion entgegen (vgl. ...
... Ein Beispiel ist die Nahrungsmittelproduktion: Ob es um die Überfischung der Meere, die Überdüngung der Böden oder den Einsatz schädlicher Pestizide geht -die kurzfristige Steigerung von Erträgen und somit finanziellen Vorteilen steht dem langfristigen Erhalt von Lebensgrundlagen und natürlichen Grundlagen der Nahrungsmittelproduktion entgegen (vgl. Costanza et al., 2017). ...
... Nun könnten wir die Faust tatsächlich einfach öffnen und die Hand wieder herausziehen, denn wir wissen ja um die Folgeschäden, und wir wissen ebenso, wie wir sie vermeiden können. Doch wir tun es nicht, solange die kurzfristigen Anreize, mit denen wir uns diese Falle stellen, nicht entfernt werden (Costanza et al., 2017). Die Analogie zu individuellem Suchtverhalten ist nicht ganz falsch: Kurzfristige Bedürfnisbefriedigung sticht langfristige Gesundheit und Lebensqualität aus -wider besseren Wissens. ...
Chapter
Abstract. Der Schlüssel zur Lösung unserer Klima- und Nachhaltigkeitsprobleme liegt in der Art, wie wir leben, denken und Probleme angehen. Um erfolgreich zu sein, müssen wir unsere Ziele reflektieren, aus der Zukunft statt der Vergangenheit heraus denken und bereit für neue Lösungen sein. Wir müssen die Realität der Klima- und Nachhaltigkeitskrise nicht nur fern und abstrakt, sondern bezüglich der tatsächlichen Größenordnung der damit verbundenen Risiken anerkennen. Dafür benötigen wir Bildung und Aufklärung auf allen Ebenen. Diese sollen nicht nur über die planetaren Realitäten aufklären, sondern auch über die sozialen und psychischen Fallen, in denen wir stecken. In diesem Zusammenhang führen wir den Begriff »Selbstwirksamkeitssimulationen« ein, das Ausführen scheinbar nachhaltiger Handlungen, die letztlich gar nicht wirksam sind. Wenn wir gleichzeitig Quantität und Tempo unserer Handlungen drastisch erhöhen, Zukunftsinvestitionen priorisieren und solidarisch, verlässlich sowie arbeitsteilig handeln und damit alle Regler auf Anschlag schieben, können wir echte Wirksamkeit entfalten und die Klima- und Nachhaltigkeitskrise lösen.
... Similarly, scenario planning, changing the production, accessibility, and use of information, and encouraging and rewarding businesses that embody public decision-making goals, are all examples of scalable solutions that can be used to engage broader citizen participation and understanding of the decisions being made (City of Melbourne, 2015; Costanza et al., 2017;Elkington, 1999;Korslund, 2016;Kubiszewski, Farley, & Costanza, 2010;Lakoff, 2014;Lalor & Hickey, 2013). ...
... Medium-term strategic planning is in effect often used as a performance plan for senior leaders (VPSC, 2019c). Even so, scenario planning has a long history, has been used in significant global decisions and is increasingly used to understand points of difference and commonality to reach negotiated consensus and provide a mandate to make public decisions with a longer-term focus (Cork et al., 2015;Costanza et al., 2017;Kahane, 1992;Raupach et al., 2012;Schoemaker, 1995). ...
Thesis
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Public decisions impact each of our lives, now and into the future. We entrust them to politicians and civil servants, expecting our elected and paid representatives to act in the public interest and to deliver on the promises they make to us. This thesis explores what has led to the arguably limited achievement of sustainable development by public decision-makers, despite three decades of increasing international, national, and subnational commitments to it. Thirty-five interviews and a survey (n=98) of current or former Victorian Public Sector employees provide insights into public decision-making. Inductive thematic and statistical analyses across case studies and cohorts, network mapping, and systems thinking are applied to draw and validate conclusions stemming from those insights. Forty influences, ranging from the personal characteristics of individual decision-makers to the definition, availability and use of evidence, are found to have the potential to both help and hinder the achievement of desired public outcomes. Regression and distributional analyses show that the importance of these influences varies, depending on context and perspective. For example: participants whose work focused on achieving sustainable development have quite different influence importance hierarchies compared to their more general decision-making focused peers; and, participants with a more 'upbeat' approach focus more on influences individuals can impact than their less 'upbeat' colleagues. Network mapping of the linkages between influences illustrates the importance of interconnected approaches to their management, and a theory on the level of control individuals can exert upon each is proposed. Additionally, considerations of sustainable development are found to be influenced by: the presence of reinforcing feedback loops within the decision-making system; apparently limited awareness of the ability to change or evolve the system; inconsistent goal definition (interviewees provide seven definitions of sustainable development); and heuristics (a third of participants are unaware of the Sustainable Development Goals, and of those indicating awareness a number demonstrate poorer understanding than they self-assess). Seventy-eight percent of participants indicate people have more influence upon public outcomes than formal frameworks, suggesting the latter are of limited value. Other solutions discussed include: tweaking existing processes to encourage thinking and awareness of sustainable development; highlighting individual's agency; applying the understandings of system leverage points gained herein; and, a suite of interviewee ideas for enhancing public decision effectiveness or longevity. This thesis concludes that public decision-makers recognise unmet public expectations and do their best to address them. But, they are often overwhelmed by the system's complexity and underestimate the impact they can reasonably have upon it, leaving many of them feeling as frustrated and powerless as the public they endeavour to serve. However, it also suggests that public decision makers who believe they can personally drive change, are more likely to do so and that greater self-efficacy within the public sector will lead to a lessening of the gap between public aspirations and delivered public outcomes. The identified influences and solutions, presented amidst a previously unavailable and rich set of insights and other factors identified in the literature, provide a basis on which to enhance these practices. Further, it is suggested that these conclusions and the influences identified apply not only to sustainable development in Victoria but to many other public decision-making issues and geographic scales, broadening the potential application of the findings.
... Further, Meadows highlights that one of the most important leverage points for systems change is a paradigm mindset shift [30]. As highlighted by Costanza et al. [31] the paradigm mindset shift required will be the transition from a 'business as usual' mindset to what has been termed a 'sustainable mindset' [19]-both individually and as a society. Furthermore, Costanza et al. note that Scenario Planning can also be effective in achieving this key system change leverage point [31]. ...
... As highlighted by Costanza et al. [31] the paradigm mindset shift required will be the transition from a 'business as usual' mindset to what has been termed a 'sustainable mindset' [19]-both individually and as a society. Furthermore, Costanza et al. note that Scenario Planning can also be effective in achieving this key system change leverage point [31]. The program, therefore, included the development of scenario planning and visioning competencies that could further support this paradigm mindset shift. ...
Article
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In 2016, the United Nations (UN) launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for sustainable development and a sustainable future. However, the global challenge has been to engage, connect, and empower communities, particularly young people, to both understand and deliver the 17 SDGs. In this study, we show the benefit of a strategic planning-based experiential learning tool, the Young Persons’ Plan for the Planet (YPPP) Program, to improve the underlying competencies of Australian and Mauritian adolescents in increasing understanding and delivering the SDGs. The study was conducted with 300 middle to senior high school students, in 25 schools throughout Australia and Mauritius, over an 18-month period. The intervention included the development of research, strategic planning, management, STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, Maths) and global competency skills in the students, to enable them to build and deliver regional and national SDG plans. Research methods included pre- and post-intervention testing of the attitudes of these students to sustainable development outcomes and compared these attitudes to subsets of scientists and the Australian national population. Our results, from both qualitative and quantitative evidence, demonstrate significant improvements in these adolescents’ appreciation of, and attitudes towards, the SDGs and sustainable outcomes, across a range of key parameters. The results from the 76 students who attended the International Conference in Mauritius in December 2018 demonstrate significant improvements in mean levels of understanding, and attitudes of the students towards the SDGs awareness (+85%), understanding/engagement (+75%), motivation (+57%), and action orientation/empowerment (+66%). These changes were tested across a range of socio-demographic, geographic, and cultural parameters, with consistent results. These findings have significant implications for the challenge of sustainable education and achieving community engagement and action towards the SDGs in Australia and Mauritius, particularly for young people. As the intervention can be replicated and scaled, the findings also highlight the opportunity to extend both the research and this type of experiential learning intervention across both broader geographies and other generation and community segments.
... Limiting our needs to the necessary materials for affording sustainable living and applying integrated knowledges to manage and improve natural systems that supply those materials, is a much-needed approach [51,52]. To do so, a radical change for how we value materials and nature is absolutely required. ...
... Inculcating right moral or spiritual values can make us envisage ourselves as part of nature, rather than separate from nature. We need to adopt simple but active attitudes towards solving common environmental problems that help resolve our addictions for goods and materials [51]. Our current local, regional, and global socio-political and environmental situations beckon a mass cross-border radical movement to save 'our home' by inculcating a sense of 'satisfaction' for material needs and practising right ethics. ...
Book
Full-text available
In this paper, the adsorbent for the removal of hexavalent Cr (Chromium) from aqueous solutions has been prepared by modifying chitosan composite with EP (Epichlorohydrin) or GA (Glutaraldehyde). The modified cross-linked chitosan was characterized by SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy) and FT-IR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy). Batch adsorption experiments were carried out to evaluate the adsorption of Cr(VI) by the cross-linked chitosan under different conditions. Furthermore, the sorption mechanism of Cr(VI) by the cross-linked chitosan was investigated by applying Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm equations to the data obtained. The concentration of Cr in solution was determined by ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry). The cross-linked chitosan can be an efficient sorbent for Cr(VI).
... No additional funding supported this research. A longer version of this paper appeared as Costanza et al. [52]. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier drafts. ...
Article
Societies, like individuals, can become addicted to patterns of detrimental and unsustainable behavior. We can learn from one of the most successful therapies at the individual scale, motivational interviewing (MI). MI is based on engaging addicts in a positive discussion of their goals, motives, and futures. One analogy to MI at the societal level is community engaged scenario planning, which can engage entire communities in building consensus about preferred alternative futures via public opinion surveys and forums. Effective therapies for societal addictions are possible, but require re-balancing effort away from only pointing out the dire consequences of current behavior and toward also building a truly shared vision of a positive future and ways to get there.
... Although used successfully in other regions and countries to navigate the path through an uncertain future, in determining national future scenario preferences, SP has primarily utilised focus group approaches. These focus groups have been based on national leadership representation, as seen in South Africa (Kahane, 2004), or alternatively a broader community audience as utilised in Hawaii (Dator, 2009) and New Zealand (Taylor et al., 2007) Similar approaches to determining and achieving desired future outcomes have also been used in both organisational change (1987( , Ansoff, 1978Mintzberg & Lampel, 1999;Bradford, Wright, Bart, Cairns, & Van Der Heijden, 2005) and societal behaviour change (Costanza et al., 2017). ...
Article
Scenario planning and the use of alternative futures have been used successfully to assist organisations, communities and countries to move towards desired outcomes (Dator, 2009). In this study we used a unique combination of scenario planning and a national public opinion survey to explore preferred futures for Australia in 2050. The approach used four future scenarios for Australia in 2050 as the basis for an online national public opinion survey entitled Australia: Our Future, Your Voice. Scenario development was based on a review of a broad range of scenarios for Australia and globally. We then developed four synthesis scenarios based on two axes of individual versus community orientation, and national focus on GDP growth versus a focus on well-being more broadly defined. The scenarios were labelled: (1) Free Enterprise (FE); (2) Strong Individualism (SI); (3) Coordinated Action (CA); and (4) Community Well-being (CW). We created a website that described each of these scenarios and invited people to complete a survey after they had reviewed the scenarios. The survey engaged 2575 adults in two groups: (1) a targeted statistically representative national sample (n = 2083) and (2) a self-selected sample (n = 492). Results from both groups and across all demographic categories revealed that a majority of participants preferred the Community Well-being (CW) scenario. 73% (Representative) and 61% (Self Select) ranked this scenario as 1 st or 2 nd . We also asked which scenario Australia was headed toward. 32% of the Representative sample and 50% of the Self-Selected sample participants ranked the Free Enterprise (FE) scenario as the most likely future. CW was ranked least likely to be ‘where Australia is heading?’ The dissonance between the future Australians want and where they thought the country is headed has clear policy implications, which we discuss. This extension of scenario planning to include public opinion surveys is novel and this approach can be used to improve thinking, discussion, planning and policy about the future of Australia, as well as potentially other countries and regions.
... A notable example was the use of SP to develop a broader vision in South Africa to facilitate the transition from apartheid to the preferred future of "all in this together" (Kahane, 2004). Since then, SP has continued to be used successfully in a range of regional and national settings to identify preferred futures and support strategies to achieve these futures ( Costanza et al., 2017). SP was therefore the approach adopted in this paper to determine a preferred vision for northern Australia. ...
Article
Full-text available
The release of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Change agreement highlighted the importance of global sustainability internationally. Here, we outline a vision and strategies for developing northern Australia that demonstrate how a focus on sustainable prosperity can both expand historical approaches and current government plans and integrate the biophysical realities with the social, political, and cultural characteristics of the region. We highlight examples of the significant horizontal and vertical integration opportunities that this expanded vision and related strategies provide for (a) land (carbon farming, targeted food production systems, and native title arrangements); (b) water (water resources management); (c) energy (renewable energy production, storage, and distribution); (d) workforce (culturally appropriate ecotourism, Indigenous ranger programs, and protected area management); (e) knowledge services (health care and innovative employment opportunities); and (f) governance (greater participatory governance). We found that realisation of even 10% of these emerging opportunities over the next 10 years alone could result in economic growth worth over AUD 15 billion and 15,000+ jobs for northern Australia as well as the further ecological and social benefits derived from a sustainable prosperity strategy.
... Consumption is energy (and material) intensive and expands in lockstep with income (Sorrell 2015). Consumers are addicted and profligate (Costanza et al. 2017). Yet, consumption also has transformative potential. ...
... On a systemic level, this can lead to phenomena like carbon lock-in (Unruh, 2000), a situation that has been described by former U.S. president George W. Bush as an "addiction to oil". The idea to look at individual-level phenomena like addiction as potential sources of inspiration for explaining and overcoming system-level sustainability challenges has also recently been promoted in this journal (Costanza et al., 2017). We contribute to this debate by looking at the microfoundations of nuclear lock-in. ...
Article
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Overcoming reliance on non-renewable resources is a key concern of energy transitions worldwide. But as the literature on carbon lock-in has shown, overcoming path dependence is all but trivial. Even well-minded decision-makers tend to relapse into inertia when it comes to making concrete divestment decisions. We investigate one specific case, the 2016 Swiss popular initiative to phase out nuclear power, to explore the cognitive and affective drivers of energy path dependence on the individual level. Within eight weeks of an intense political campaign, support for this initiative dropped from more than 60 to just 45.8 percent of Swiss voters. Based on a representative longitudinal survey (N=1,014), we show that changes in perceived risk and benefit of nuclear power play key roles in explaining fading voter support for nuclear divestment, and that affect is in turn a significant driver of those changes. By framing it as a choice between the lesser evil of nuclear power or importing German coal power, opponents of the phase-out managed to introduce an asymmetrically dominated option into voters' choice set, leading many to change their original voting intentions. Our paper responds to calls for integrating dual-process theories ("thinking fast and slow") into research in Ecological Economics.
... Consumption is energy (and material) intensive and expands in lockstep with income (Sorrell 2015). Consumers are addicted and profligate (Costanza et al. 2017). Yet, consumption also has transformative potential. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates the potential for consumer-facing innovations to contribute emission reductions for limiting warming to 1.5 °C. First, we show that global integrated assessment models which characterise transformation pathways consistent with 1.5 °C mitigation are limited in their ability to analyse the emergence of novelty in energy end-use. Second, we introduce concepts of disruptive innovation which can be usefully applied to the challenge of 1.5 °C mitigation. Disruptive low-carbon innovations offer novel value propositions to consumers and can transform markets for energy-related goods and services while reducing emissions. Third, we identify 99 potentially disruptive low-carbon innovations relating to mobility, food, buildings and cities, and energy supply and distribution. Examples at the fringes of current markets include car clubs, mobility-as-a-service, prefabricated high-efficiency retrofits, internet of things, and urban farming. Each of these offers an alternative to mainstream consumer practices. Fourth, we assess the potential emission reductions from subsets of these disruptive low-carbon innovations using two methods: a survey eliciting experts’ perceptions and a quantitative scaling-up of evidence from early-adopting niches to matched segments of the UK population. We conclude that disruptive low-carbon innovations which appeal to consumers can help efforts to limit warming to 1.5 °C.
... Since the steering of innovations is inherently emergent, futures must be cultured collectively [21,59]. For building desirable, more sustainable forms of production and consumption, wider society should be engaged in discussing alternative futures and building consensus on preferred ones [2,49,110]. Grassroots initiatives act as vital local laboratories, piloting and demonstrating in real-world settings how citizens and communities can live more sustainably [38,107]. ...
Article
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This review explores the current evidence on the role and success factors of grassroots initiatives in sustainability transitions, with special attention given to social innovations and the transformation of urban food systems, a field that is still rather scantly dealt with in literature compared to technological innovations in other sectors such as energy. In addition to their contributions to get the necessary transformation towards sustainable futures off the ground, the preconditions for grassroots initiatives to thrive are presented—as well as limitations regarding their possibilities and the challenges they face. Increasingly, the importance of civil society and social movements in facilitating societal transformation is recognized by both researchers and policy makers. Within their radical niches, grassroots initiatives do not have to adhere to the logics of the wider systems in which they are embedded. This allows them to experiment with diverse solutions to sustainability challenges such as local food security and sovereignty. By means of democratic, inclusive and participatory processes, they create new pathways and pilot a change of course. Nevertheless, upscaling often comes at the loss of the transformative potential of grassroots initiatives.
... A humanization of scientific research that defies epistemological unconsciousness with preference for objectivity is necessary within the field of natural sciences (Moon and Blackman, 2014). The humans are trapped and addicted to the current regime therefore presenting evidence about risks of biodiversity destruction is important, but it should be contrasted with social values if we hope to change behavior at societal levels (Costanza et al., 2017). ...
Article
Brazilian biodiversity is being target of many scientific efforts to preserve it. However, there is an enormous contradiction in the country between what is discussed in scientific theory and what government measures are actually doing in practice. In this work, we discuss Brazil's conservationist aspirations under a human and social aspect, which the scientific view of natural scientists seldom explores: the historical materialist conception. From this analysis, we argue that current scientific efforts are important, but merely palliative, because at the heart of capitalist society the logic of value precedes any political decision making of the state. Therefore, the analysis of Brazilian biodiversity conservation under the premises of historical materialism elucidates with more clarity the forces that are at play in the country to inform the practice of conservation. This is a way of understanding the relatively ineffective role that science and technology has had in the permanent control of environmental destruction in Brazil.
... If we are to succeed at moving beyond the current model of 'growth at all costs' to embrace the idea of a 'wellbeing economy', we need a dif- ferent approach to data collection and modelling that is adaptable, evolutionary, and integrated (Fioramonti, 2017a). We also need an approach that recognizes the degree to which we are 'addicted' to the current system by short term reinforcements and the need to design and implement 'societal therapy' based on developing a shared vision of the post-GDP world we not only want but desper- ately need to deal with the ecological and social crises ( Costanza et al., 2017). ...
Article
It has been 20 years since two seminal publications about ecosystem services came out: an edited book by Gretchen Daily and an article in Nature by a group of ecologists and economists on the value of the world's ecosystem services. Both of these have been very highly cited and kicked off an explosion of research, policy, and applications of the idea, including the establishment of this journal. This article traces the history leading up to these publications and the subsequent debates, research, institutions, policies, on-the-ground actions, and controversies they triggered. It also explores what we have learned during this period about the key issues: from definitions to classification to valuation, from integrated modelling to public participation and communication, and the evolution of institutions and governance innovation. Finally, it provides recommendations for the future. In particular, it points to the weakness of the mainstream economic approaches to valuation, growth, and development. It concludes that the substantial contributions of ecosystem services to the sustainable wellbeing of humans and the rest of nature should be at the core of the fundamental change needed in economic theory and practice if we are to achieve a societal transformation to a sustainable and desirable future.
... Harari's [50] puts this very succinctly: 'One of history's few iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and to spawn new obligations'. Some have suggested that to get out of this trap we may need societal therapy [51]. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we review the drivers for the high levels of material use in society, investigating both historical and current trends. We present recent national and global data by different material categories and accounting schemes, showing the correlations between materials use and different measures of human well-being. We also present a development narrative to accompany these observed trends, focusing on the strong role materials have played in economic development by industrialization and in the consumer economy. Finally, we speculate on how material efficiency might alter this pattern going forward and whether it is possible to de-couple well-being from material use. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Material demand reduction’.
... Unfortunately, however, confrontational approaches themselves create side-effects such as defensive denial and reactance and therefore are rarely effective or even used in the treatment of addictions (Costanza et al., 2017a(Costanza et al., , 2017b. The development of less confrontational and more pragmatic and solution-oriented coping strategies for the diagnosed capitalist lifestyle addiction therefore appears to be a critical element in the achievement of natural and social climate change goals (Bell and Morse, 2005;Brugnach et al., 2011;Folke, 2006;Harangozó and Zilahy, 2015;Stout, 2010;Vira, 2015). ...
Article
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In observing a capitalist lifestyle of addiction to relentless growth responsible for an imminent self-extinction of the human race, environmentalism is a particularly problem-centred movement. The purpose of this article is to address and manage the risk that the movement is co-dependent on and co-performs the problems it tries to solve. To this end, a supervision framework is developed based on the insight that knowledge of a problem is not required for solutions to that problem to emerge. Core elements of solution-focused brief therapy, systemic structural constellations, and social systems theory are combined to demonstrate that there would be better success with the higher goals of environmentalism if environmentalists focus not on problems of capitalism and growth, but on those non-economic aspects of social life that can be grown instead. An outlook shows that this shift of focus from problem to the problem ecology resonates well with ambitions to ensure sustainable development and to design alternative indices that go beyond the OECD well-being framework or the Happy Planet Index.
... Recently, prominent ecological economists working in collaboration with psychologists (Costanza et al., 2017a(Costanza et al., , 2017b) have proposed that society's addiction to economic growth might be addressed through seeking to apply psychological technique known as motivational interviewing (MI) at a societal level: ...
Research
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Mainstream economics theory neglects biophysical foundations and supports certain public policies that are problematic for sustainability. Despite several decades of critique for its lack of attention to environment-economy linkages and planetary boundaries, mainstream theory fails to redress such shortcomings, thereby continuing to give humanity poor guidance for addressing sustainability challenges and thus the discipline can be understood as being "perversely resilient" in not reorganizing to address the challenge of human survival within the constraints of the biosphere. This paper examines competing explanations for this perverse resilience and draws heavily upon Mark Blyth's insightful extensions to Karl Polanyi's theories. The paper considers the implications of these insights in shifting the economics establishment towards a more life-sustaining economic theory.
... Some go as far as to argue for sustainable population policies Ragnarsdóttir et al. [48]. Costanza et al. [49] have framed these issues in a novel way by comparing societies' unsustainable consumerism to that of individual addictions. In this view, societal addictions such as lifestyles with overconsumption relying on fossil fuels, overusing pesticides, economic aggrandizing, and overfishing, similar to an individual's cigarette or drug addictions, both have short term rewards yet continue to be used despite universal knowledge of their detrimental effects. ...
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When developing new materials many aspects of sustainability are relevant, especially when the ultimate goal is mass production. More efficient energy storage and transmission are important parts of a larger product life cycle design and the confines of the circular economy, including environmental and social concerns. For example, due to environmental, geopolitical, and health concerns, it is important to choose materials that are easily accessible, as opposed to materials requiring complicated extraction, storage, and transportation methods. Equally important is the abundance of the material, as the mass production and use of a product are not sustainable if its raw components are scarce. This requires material scientists to be aware of how their design affects the later life cycle stages of the materials they develop. Very few studies cover whether material scientists take these type of questions into consideration. To resolve this, material scientists were questioned on various sustainability aspects. Results show that most of the questioned scientists have little to no awareness of what effects mass production of their developed materials might have regarding greenhouse gases or the workforce, or what their material’s recyclability or longevity might be. The results indicate that these questioned material scientists are not fully aware of several imperative sustainability aspects and do not fully consider the impacts of their designs. To increase instilling and evaluating awareness of sustainability aspects on life cycle design, two improvements are: increasing sustainability education by lifelong learning, and adding sustainability concerns as a required component to grants and funding.
... Inequalities have also grown, particularly within countries, while psychological distress has increased exponentially, especially at times of accelerated growth (World Inequality Lab, 2018;Piketty, 2014;Stiglitz, 2012;Wilkinson and Pickett, 2018). Modern societies are increasingly plagued by anxiety, depression, narcissism, reduction of empathy and other mental disorders (Costanza et al., 2016a). ...
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The concept of ‘wellbeing economy’ (WE), that is, an economy that pursues human and ecological wellbeing instead of material growth, is gaining support amongst policymakers, business, and civil society. Over the past couple of years, several national governments have adopted the WE as their guiding framework to design development policies and assess social and economic progress. While it shares a number of basic principles with various post-growth conceptualisations, the WE's language and concepts tend to be more adaptable to different social and economic contexts, thus penetrating into policy processes and connecting to a variety of cultural traits, not only in advanced economies but also in less industrialised nations. In this paper, we describe the key features of the WE, including its approach to key concepts like work, productivity and technology and several examples of its policy impact. We conclude by positing that the WE framework may be one of the most effective bases to mainstream post-growth policies at the national and global level.
... In the context of wildfires, as former New South Wales (NSW) Fire Commissioner Greg Mullins has said, 'Adapting to climate change is not enough' (Mullins,20 January 2020, The Guardian); there is need to develop holistic, sustainable solutions over the long-term. This includes changing our current practices, policies and norms that are solely focused on sector-based 'silo' approaches which ignore the role of natural systems (Costanza et al. 2014(Costanza et al. , 2017. ...
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Natural Hazard-induced Disasters (NHD) cause a wide range of losses to built and natural environments, the latter often beyond standard measures. Precise accounting and characterisation of the losses can assist in developing effective management policies that help to build resilient communities. This study applies trans-disciplinary approaches to assess total, monetary and non-monetary, NHD-related losses, estimated at AUD 156 million per year (2010–2019 average), for Australia’s Northern Territory where bushfires, cyclones, storms and floods are destructive and frequent events. Non-monetary losses, often overlooked or omitted, were estimated at AUD103 million per year, accounting for two-thirds of total disaster-related losses. Marketable losses, estimated at AUD 53 million per year, were inferred, using standard and non-standard datasets, from the Australian Government’s Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, insurance costs (Insurance Council of Australia database), and other relevant sources. Non-monetary losses were accounted for by the loss of ecosystem services from natural systems caused by cyclones and bushfires only, applying ecological economics approaches, but without considering long-term losses over the duration of recovery. This study informs disaster management policies to invest in collective emergency and environmental management planning for reducing NHD risk and building resilience of local communities to manage and prepare for rapidly changing climates. Such an accounting approach is essential in contexts where NHDs disproportionately affect the lives and well-being of disadvantaged remote communities.
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This thesis is focused on understanding human-environment interactions that drive a system into a social-ecological trap, a persistently unsustainable and undesirable social-ecological system. Recent research on social-ecological traps points to some gaps in the conceptualisation and analysis of these resilient yet pathological social-ecological systems. A more social-ecological conceptualisation of a social-ecological trap, which includes path dependence, human agency and external factors apart from the basic normative dimensions commonly invoked of social-ecological traps, was integrated in this research. This thesis is informed by the literature of social-ecological resilience, human ecology and systems thinking. Using complementary frameworks and approaches from each literature provides a more holistic and integrative analysis of social-ecological traps. The thesis aimed to investigate the links between and among ecosystem health, cultural paradigms, human wellbeing and institutions that keep a social-ecological system in an unsustainable and undesirable development path. The specific research questions are as follows: (1) Can the small-scale fisheries in the Philippines be characterised as being caught in a social-ecological trap? (2) What are the characteristics and structure of the social-ecological trap in these fisheries? (3) What are the factors that drive small-scale fishery systems in the Philippines into a social-ecological trap? (4) What are the interventions that could help move the small-scale fishery systems from a social-ecological trap into a sustainable and desirable system? This is a place-based research of selected small-scale fisheries in the Philippines. These critically valuable fishery areas include small-scale fish farming in an inland riverine system, north of Manila; small-scale capture fisheries in Northern Mindanao; and mariculture parks, also in Northern Mindanao, Philippines. Small-scale fisheries in the Philippines contribute to the domestic as well as regional fish production important for food security, sustainable livelihoods and wellbeing of these smallholder fishers and fish farmers. To the best of my knowledge, this research is also the first time that the concept of a social-ecological trap is applied in the Philippines small-scale fisheries. The research followed a case study and integrative research approaches utilising participatory mixed research methods. Data collection included 76 semi-structured interviews, 3 focus groups and 217 household surveys. Research participants included the small-scale fishers and fish farmers, government representatives from various levels, and civil society members concerned with fisheries in the areas. The thesis is divided into four (4) sections. The first section focuses on context setting, followed by the results section, which focuses on the case studies. The third section highlights the current and proposed recommendations to escape the net of social-ecological traps. The last section highlights the research synthesis; key findings; and recommendations in terms of research, practice and policy. This thesis provides theoretical and practical contributions to the literature on social-ecological traps. In spite of the burgeoning research on social-ecological traps, integrating a more social-ecological description of traps also highlights the roles of the temporal, scalar (external and endogenous) and human agentic responses in reinforcing or dampening trap dynamics. The dominant 'productionist' paradigm of modern agro-food systems was found to be a critical reinforcing force in the social-ecological trap process. Aside from unpacking these critical dynamics and factors of social-ecological traps, this thesis moves forward and proposes potential leverage points to break free from the trap's dynamics.
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Increasing evidence—synthesized in this paper—shows that economic growth contributes to biodiversity loss via greater resource consumption and higher emissions. Nonetheless, a review of international biodiversity and sustainability policies shows that the majority advocate economic growth. Since improvements in resource use efficiency have so far not allowed for absolute global reductions in resource use and pollution, we question the support for economic growth in these policies, where inadequate attention is paid to the question of how growth can be decoupled from biodiversity loss. Drawing on the literature about alternatives to economic growth, we explore this contradiction and suggest ways forward to halt global biodiversity decline. These include policy proposals to move beyond the growth paradigm while enhancing overall prosperity, which can be implemented by combining top-down and bottom-up governance across scales. Finally, we call the attention of researchers and policy makers to two immediate steps: acknowledge the conflict between economic growth and biodiversity conservation in future policies; and explore socioeconomic trajectories beyond economic growth in the next generation of biodiversity scenarios.
Chapter
Die Erderhitzung führt neben bekannteren Folgen wie Dürren oder Meeresspiegelanstieg auch in eine Krise der psychischen Gesundheit. Zugleich ist die Klimakrise eine Folge menschlichen Handelns und fehlenden Handelns, woran psychische Verarbeitungsprozesse einen bedeutenden Anteil haben. Deshalb müssen die psychologischen Berufsgruppen auf Basis ihrer Fachlichkeit und Berufsethik eine aktive Rolle bei der Bewältigung der Klimakrise übernehmen. Anhand der vielfältigen Arbeitsfelder und berufsrechtlicher Grundlagen arbeiten wir heraus, wo die berufsethische Verpflichtung und fachliche Verantwortung von Psychologie und Psychotherapie liegen. Dabei thematisieren wir exemplarisch die Rolle von Berufsverbänden und Kammern. Der Beitrag schließt mit einem Appell an unsere Kolleg:innen und Berufsorganisationen, sich stärker politisch für eine wirksame Eindämmung des Klimawandels zu engagieren.
Chapter
A Wellbeing Economy is an economy that delivers social justice on a healthy planet. The Wellbeing Economy movement is being brought together by the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll), a ten-year project created to catalyse systems change towards the realisation of a Wellbeing Economy. A crucial role for WEAll as an organisation is providing the connective tissue between the different elements of the Wellbeing Economy movement, by creating unprecedented cooperation between actors working in their own areas and layers of the economic system. One of the key projects catalysed by WEAll is the Wellbeing Economy Governments (WEGo) partnership, which is the only living laboratory at scale in the world today that is testing and implementing Wellbeing Economy policies.
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In this chapter presents the results of various approaches used by a group of young Namibians to shift the society toward a well-being economy. They sought to find more appropriate measurements of success, and did this by conducting (a) a survey to measure progress, (b) different dialog processes to understand what a good quality of life actually means to citizens, (c) co-constructing community well-being from the bottom up, (d) communication, networking, and awareness to garner public support, and finally (e) attempting to influence high-level decision-making in government. The authors measured nine domains; of which, state of mind and perceived health were the only domains found to be sufficient. The domains community strength and sense of belonging were the lowest in the high-income area. The domains with the highest levels of dissatisfaction were good governance and political freedom. The process of co-constructing community well-being through a bottom-up approach had varying levels of success and was highly adaptive and flexible. The key findings were that the underlying components of well-being were trust (at all levels), a sense of belonging and healthy relationships, basic needs (home, food, water, sanitation, electricity), quality education (the kind that causes critical and systems thinking and develops creative potential), quality work (that is demanding and rewarding), and good health.
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Cambridge Core - Statistics for Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences and Law - Replacing GDP by 2030 - by Rutger Hoekstra
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Without significant adaptation and response to climate change and environmental destruction, human behaviour has the capacity to lead to our eventual demise. However, in our fast-paced media world, conservation messages and warnings are often ignored by the public, politicians and commercial concerns. This article proposes that long-form nonfiction narratives are an important communication tool for the dissemination of conservation science in the Anthropocene. Furthermore, it suggests that future-focused nature biographies have the capacity to present science in a way that is accessible to a non-specialist audience, evoking the necessary responsibilities and stewardship outside of scientific circles. This article compares biographical exemplars with the author’s practice-led research exploring the life of Malaysian biologist and tropical ecologist, Dr Wong Siew Te.
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Ecological economics (EE) was originally envisioned as a transdiscipline with the following core characteristics and goals: (1) a focus on the primary goal of sustainable wellbeing of both humans and the rest of nature; (2) three broad sub-goals of sustainable scale, fair distribution, and efficient allocation. (3) intelligent pluralism and integration across disciplines, rather than territorial disciplinary differentiation; (4) concern with the functioning of the interdependent system of humans embedded in the rest of nature from an evolutionary, whole systems perspective; (5) an emphasis on the development of valuation techniques that build on a broad understanding of the interaction of built, human, social and natural capital to produce sustainable wellbeing. These characteristics and goals make ecological economics applicable to some of the major problems facing humanity today, and especially to the problem of improving humanity’s wellbeing and assuring its survival within the biosphere. Going forward EE must move further beyond the argument culture to finally become the meta-paradigm that it was originally envisioned to be. It can use its tools and vision to enable society to overcome its addiction to the current unsustainable growth paradigm and make the transition to the world we all want.
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Comprising 20–30% of the shells of crustaceans, α-chitin has been shown to provide a wide range of valuable products such as therapeutic substances, platform molecules and functional materials. However, the polysaccharide’s crystallinity has been poorly studied, and this has limited its widespread utilization thus far. Filling that research gap, this thesis reports a new mechanochemical method of ball milling which amorphizes α-chitin in a controlled way. Using powder XRD to measure the polysaccharide’s crystallinity index (CrI%), a low balls-to-chitin (BtC) steel system was found to reduce CrI by an average of 6.0 units in regular milling times with good precision (±2.5 CrI units). That data set was correlated for the first time with FT-IR intensity ratios showing an unaffected degree of acetylation (DA), a steady decrease of glycosidic linkage content and α-chitin’s characteristic amide I split. The behaviour of the latter was rationalized as an experimental indicator for the weakening of the polysaccharide’s intermolecular hydrogen bonding network which is hypothesized to arise from the distribution of the average collision force within the nanofibril structure. The combination of increased collision frequency along with the presence of a solid acid catalyst (kaolinite) provided optimum mechanochemical conditions for efficient conversion of α-chitin into water-soluble products. The latter were analysed with a MALDI-TOF MS method developed in Memorial University revealing oligomers of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (NAG) with degrees of polymerization (DP) of 1 to 5. The monomer and dimer reached yields of 5.1 and 3.9 wt.%, respectively, within 6 h, which compare well with yields of glucose and cellobiose from literature cellulose ball milling. The products of this solvent-free oligomerization process were complemented by colorimetric approximations of reducing ends as well as size exclusion chromatography observations. This analysis is expected to stimulate future research for the sustainable production of these likely biologically active chitooligosaccharides. In parallel, the inevitable fraction of higher MW chitin resulting from the ball milling process has been shown to conveniently solubilize in cold NaOH. An optimum concentration of 19 wt.% of the alkali was found to dissolve ~5 wt.% high MW/crystallinity α-chitin via a freeze-thaw process at −28 °C and give films of acceptable mechanical properties after a simple casting treatment with HCl. Practically, this method avoids some of the disadvantages of organic salt solution solvents like the need for a costly recycling/purification treatment, their life cycle issues, the high temperatures, and the long stirring times. At the same time, it can quickly create homogeneous solutions of predictable viscosities in the 1–10 wt.% range allowing for more efficient and controlled chitin deacetylation.
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Timber sourcing is shifting from extraction from natural forests to forms of cultivation that are increasingly agricultural in nature. This book takes a multidisciplinary approach to examine the socio-political, biophysical and discursive dimensions of this divergence of wood production from forests. This analysis challenges the historical integration of wood production and forest ecosystem management exemplified by the institutions of forestry with their inherent wood/forest connection. This has significant implications for how wood and forest socio-ecological systems confront change and challenge ideas about how to achieve sustainability. Historically, the institutions of stewardship forestry were founded on ideals of sustainable systems in long-term equilibrium. However, these occur within rapidly evolving social and technological contexts that constantly challenge the maintenance of any equilibrium. This creates considerable tension within wood and forest socio-ecological systems and their institutions and governance. Moving beyond adaptation to transformation, however, requires a willingness to consider post-forestry conditions, such as integration of emerging wood cultivation systems into agricultural and landscape approaches, and increasing management of extensive forest ecosystems for non-wood values in the absence of wood production. This book includes four case studies: a global modelling of shifts in wood production and three national case studies (Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand), each analysing shifts in resilience in wood and forest socio-ecological systems using a different disciplinary approach. This book will be of interest to advanced students, researchers and professionals in forestry, land use, conservation, rural studies and geography.
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Over the past century, sustainability scholars and scientists have largely focused on the complex relationships between society, economy, and environment. We refer to this approach as external sustainability research, which positions the built and natural environment as key to a sustainable future. Yet, our external environment is a manifestation of deeply held beliefs, values, attitudes, and perceptions of the world — the inner dimensions of sustainability. Within sustainability science, a deeper understanding of the inner dimensions could promote lasting external sustainability measures, strategies, and interventions. This chapter envisions sustainability as a holistic collection of internal and external guiding principles that can be enhanced through practice. First, we draw on perspectives from “Western sustainability” and indigenous philosophies. Next, case studies integrating holistic sustainability approaches are shared. We conclude by integrating the primary literature with our case studies and call on sustainability science to more deeply consider the inner dimensions.
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Topics: Economy Export Citation Toward a Sustainable Wellbeing Economy Volume 9 | Issue 2 | April 2018 By Robert Costanza, Elizabeth Caniglia, Lorenzo Fioramonti, Ida Kubiszewski, Henry Lewis, Hunter Lovins, Jacqueline McGlade, Lars Fogh Mortensen, Dirk Philipsen, Kate Pickett, Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir, Debra Roberts, Paul Sutton, Katherine Trebeck, Stewart Wallis, James Ward, Michael Weatherhead, Richard Wilkinson Toward a Sustainable Wellbeing Economy Reference to the Wellbeing Alliance Our current economic systems have become addicted to “growth at all costs”, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) [i]. They assume that GDP growth is synonymous with increasing wellbeing and prosperity. However this approach has led to growing inequality, an escalating climate crisis, and the depletion of natural and social capital. We are no longer generating genuine progress[ii]. Our approach to economics and development needs fundamental transformation.
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Multinational enterprises (MNE) need to be a part of the solution in the fight against climate change, as claimed by investors and consumers, reducing emissions within their operations and supply chains. This paper measures the carbon footprint of U.S. MNE foreign affiliates (US-MNE) operating beyond the U.S. borders. Using a multiregional input-output model and information about US-MNE activities, the US-MNE carbon footprint ranks US-MNE as the 12th top emitter of the world. In relative terms, one dollar of value added generated by US-MNE affiliates operating abroad requires higher emissions than the domestic average and the ratio increases when only developing host countries are considered. Only 8% of total carbon footprint returns to the U.S. as virtual carbon embodied in the U.S. final consumption. Potential technology transfers between the U.S. parent company and affiliates to reduce US-MNE carbon footprint have been performed to evaluate potential rippled effects of mitigation actions.
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Die Erderhitzung führt neben den weitläufig bekannten Folgen auch in eine Krise der psy-chischen Gesundheit. Zugleich ist die Klimakrise eine Folge menschlichen Handelns und fehlenden Handelns, woran psychische Verarbeitungsprozesse einen bedeutenden Anteil haben. Deshalb müssen die psychologischen Berufsgruppen auf Basis ihrer Fachlichkeit und Berufsethik eine aktive Rolle bei der Bewältigung der Klimakrise übernehmen. An-hand der vielfältigen Arbeitsfelder und berufsrechtlicher Grundlagen arbeiten wir heraus, wo die berufsethische Verpflichtung und fachliche Verantwortung von Psychologie und Psychotherapie liegen. Dabei thematisieren wir exemplarisch die Rolle von Berufsverbän-den und Kammern. Der Beitrag schließt mit einem Appell an unsere Kolleg:innen und Be-rufsorganisationen, sich stärker politisch für eine wirksame Eindämmung des Klimawan-dels zu engagieren. ||| The climate crisis is a consequence of human action and lack of action, in which psycho-logical processing plays a significant role. At the same time and in addition to the widely known consequences, global warming is also leading to a mental health crisis. Therefore, the psychological professions must take an active role in addressing the climate crisis based on their professionalism and professional ethics. Based on the diverse fields of work and professional law basics, we work out where the professional ethical obligation and professional responsibility of psychology and psychotherapy lie. In doing so, we ex-emplarily address the role of professional associations and chambers. The paper con-cludes with an appeal to our colleagues and professional organizations to become more politically engaged for an effective mitigation of climate change. ||| Verhaltenstherapie & Psychosoziale Praxis, 2/2022, S. 201-209
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Understanding the history of how humans have interacted with the rest of nature can help clarify the options for managing our increasingly interconnected global system. Simple, deterministic relationships between environmental stress and social change are inadequate. Extreme drought, for instance, triggered both social collapse and ingenious management of water through irrigation. Human responses to change, in turn, feed into climate and ecological systems, producing a complex web of multidirectional connections in time and space. Integrated records of the co-evolving human-environment system over millennia are needed to provide a basis for a deeper understanding of the present and for forecasting the future. This requires the major task of assembling and integrating regional and global historical, archaeological, and paleoenvironmental records. Humans cannot predict the future. But, if we can adequately understand the past, we can use that understanding to influence our decisions and to create a better, more sustainable and desirable future.
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Recent understanding about system dynamics and predictability that has emerged from the study of complex systems is creating new tools for modeling interactions between anthropogenic and natural systems. A range of techniques has become available through advances in computer speed and accessibility and by implementing a broad, interdisciplinary systems view.
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The ancient Maya provide an example of a complex social-ecological system which developed impressively before facing catastrophic reorganisation. In order for our contemporary globally-connected society to avoid a similar fate, we aim to learn how the ancient Maya system functioned, and whether it might have been possible to maintain resilience and avoid collapse. The MayaSim computer model was constructed to test hypotheses on whether system-level interventions might have resulted in a different outcome for the simulated society. We find that neither collapse or sustainability are inevitable, and the fate of social-ecological systems relates to feedbacks between the human and biophysical world, which interact as fast and slow variables and across spatial and temporal scales. In the case of the ancient Maya, what is considered the 'peak' of their social development might have also been the 'base' of overall social-ecological resilience. Nevertheless, modelling results suggest that resilience can be achieved and long-term sustainability possible, but changes in subsystems need to be maintained within safe operating boundaries. T he archaeological record reveals diverse societies that flourished in their time and place and succeeded in achieving impressive works of architecture, novel technological advancement, complex economies, and other measures of human achievement. The archaeological record also shows complex societies having declined, some gradually, others precipitously, with common explanations including changing environmental conditions, greedy rulers, wars and conquest, resource depletion, pathogens, and overpopulation. However, single-cause explanations, or even a string of single-cause explanations do not do justice to past peoples, who like us, must have known their vulnerabilities and must have sought to adapt. In this article, we explore whether the concept of resilience, as represented within a simulation model, can help explain the collapse of a civilisation. We use the ancient Maya as an example to explore how that society might have avoided collapse, and provide insight into the resilience of our current global civilization. We propose it is possible to
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Clinicians are committed to effectively educating patients and helping them to make sound decisions concerning their own health care. However, how do clinicians determine what is effective education? How do they present information clearly and in a manner that patients understand and can use to make informed decisions? Behavioral economics (BE) is a subfield of economics that can assist clinicians to better understand how individuals actually make decisions. BE research can help guide interactions with patients so that information is presented and discussed in a more deliberate and impactful way. We can be more effective providers of care when we understand the factors that influence how our patients make decisions, factors of which we may have been largely unaware. BE research that focuses on health care and medical decision making is becoming more widely known, and what has been reported suggests that BE interventions can be effective in the medical realm. The purpose of this article is to provide clinicians with an overview of BE decision science and derived practice strategies to promote more effective behavior change in patients.
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Sustainability demands changes in human behavior. To this end, priority areas include reforming formal institutions, strengthening the institutions of civil society, improving citizen engagement, curbing consumption and population growth, addressing social justice issues, and reflecting on value and belief systems. We review existing knowledge across these areas and conclude that the global sustainability deficit is not primarily the result of a lack of academic knowledge. Rather, unsustainable behaviors result from a vicious cycle, where traditional market and state institutions reinforce disincentives for more sustainable behaviors while, at the same time, the institutions of civil society lack momentum to effectively promote fundamental reforms of those institutions. Achieving more sustainable behaviors requires this cycle to be broken. We call on readers to contribute to social change through involvement in initiatives like the Ecological Society of America's Earth Stewardship Initiative or the nascent Millennium Alliance for Humanity & the Biosphere. © The Ecological Society of America.
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The need to adapt to climate change is now widely recognised as evidence of its impacts on social and natural systems grows and greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated. Yet efforts to adapt to climate change, as reported in the literature over the last decade and in selected case studies, have not led to substantial rates of implementation of adaptation actions despite substantial investments in adaptation science. Moreover, implemented actions have been mostly incremental and focused on proximate causes; there are far fewer reports of more systemic or transformative actions. We found that the nature and effectiveness of responses was strongly influenced by framing. Recent decision-oriented approaches that aim to overcome this situation are framed within a “pathways” metaphor to emphasise the need for robust decision making within adaptive processes in the face of uncertainty and inter-temporal complexity. However, to date, such “adaptation pathways” approaches have mostly focused on contexts with clearly identified decision-makers and unambiguous goals; as a result, they generally assume prevailing governance regimes are conducive for adaptation and hence constrain responses to proximate causes of vulnerability. In this paper, we explore a broader conceptualisation of “adaptation pathways” that draws on ‘pathways thinking’ in the sustainable development domain to consider the implications of path dependency, interactions between adaptation plans, vested interests and global change, and situations where values, interests, or institutions constrain societal responses to change. This re-conceptualisation of adaptation pathways aims to inform decision makers about integrating incremental actions on proximate causes with the transformative aspects of societal change. Case studies illustrate what this might entail. The paper ends with a call for further exploration of theory, methods and procedures to operationalise this broader conceptualisation of adaptation.
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Resilience thinking addresses the dynamics and development of complex social–ecological systems (SES). Three aspects are central: resilience, adaptability and transformability. These aspects interrelate across multiple scales. Resilience in this context is the capacity of a SES to continually change and adapt yet remain within critical thresholds. Adaptability is part of resilience. It represents the capacity to adjust responses to changing external drivers and internal processes and thereby allow for development along the current trajectory (stability domain). Transformability is the capacity to cross thresholds into new development trajectories. Transformational change at smaller scales enables resilience at larger scales. The capacity to transform at smaller scales draws on resilience from multiple scales, making use of crises as windows of opportunity for novelty and innovation, and recombining sources of experience and knowledge to navigate social–ecological transitions. Society must seriously consider ways to foster resilience of smaller more manageable SESs that contribute to Earth System resilience and to explore options for deliberate transformation of SESs that threaten Earth System resilience.
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HE importance of social trust has become widely accepted in the social sciences. One reason for the interest in social trust is that, as measured in surveys, it correlates with a number of other variables that are normatively highly desirable. At the individual level, people who believe that in general most other people in their society can be trusted are also more inclined to have a positive view of their democratic in- stitutions, to participate more in politics, and to be more active in civic organizations. They also give more to charity and are more tolerant toward minorities and to people who are not like themselves. Trusting people also tend to be more optimistic about their own ability to influ- ence their own life chances and, not least important, to be more happy with how their life is going. 1
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Understanding the history of how humans have interacted with the rest of nature can help clarify the options for managing our increasingly interconnected global system. Simple, deterministic relationships between environmental stress and social change are inadequate. Extreme drought, for instance, triggered both social collapse and ingenious management of water through irrigation. Human responses to change, in turn, feed into climate and ecological systems, producing a complex web of multidirectional connections in time and space. Integrated records of the co-evolving human-environment system over millennia are needed to provide a basis for a deeper understanding of the present and for forecasting the future. This requires the major task of assembling and integrating regional and global historical, archaeological, and paleoenvironmental records. Humans cannot predict the future. But, if we can adequately understand the past, we can use that understanding to influence our decisions and to create a better, more sustainable and desirable future.
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A high and sustainable quality of life is a central goal for humanity. Our current socio-ecological regime and its set of interconnected worldviews, institutions, and technologies all support the goal of unlimited growth of material production and consumption as a proxy for quality of life. However, abundant evidence shows that, beyond a certain threshold, further material growth no longer significantly contributes to improvement in quality of life. Not only does further material growth not meet humanity's central goal, there is mounting evidence that it creates significant roadblocks to sustainability through increasing resource constraints (i.e., peak oil, water limitations) and sink constraints (i.e., climate disruption). Overcoming these roadblocks and creating a sustainable and desirable future will require an integrated, systems level redesign of our socio-ecological regime focused explicitly and directly on the goal of sustainable quality of life rather than the proxy of unlimited material growth. This transition, like all cultural transitions, will occur through an evolutionary process, but one that we, to a certain extent, can control and direct. We suggest an integrated set of worldviews, institutions, and technologies to stimulate and seed this evolutionary redesign of the current socio-ecological regime to achieve global sustainability.
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Analysts of government have frequently noted how Singapore's policies are grounded in rigorous economics thinking. Policies are designed to be economically efficient even if they are not always popular. This pioneering book takes a different approach. It aims to demonstrate how successful policies in Singapore have integrated conventional economic principles with insights from the emerging field of behavioural economics even before the latter became popular. Using examples from various policy domains, it shows how good policy design often requires a synthesis of insights from economics and psychology. Policies should not only be compatible with economic incentives, but should also be sensitive to the cognitive abilities, limitations and biases of citizens. Written by policy practitioners in the Singapore government, this book is an important introduction to how behavioural economics and the findings from cognitive psychology can be intelligently applied to the design of public policies. As one of the few books written on the subject, it promises to stimulate wider interest in the subject among researchers, policymakers and anyone interested in the design of effective public policies. © 2012 by Civil Service College, Singapore. All rights reserved.
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The concept of resilience has evolved considerably since Holling's (1973) seminal paper. Different interpretations of what is meant by resilience, however, cause confusion. Resilience of a system needs to be considered in terms of the attributes that govern the system's dynamics. Three related attributes of social-ecological systems (SESs) determine their future trajectories: resilience, adaptability, and transformability. Resilience (the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks) has four components-latitude, resistance, precariousness, and panarchy-most readily portrayed using the metaphor of a stability landscape. Adaptability is the capacity of actors in the system to influence resilience (in a SES, essentially to manage it). There are four general ways in which this can be done, corresponding to the four aspects of resilience. Transformability is the capacity to create a fundamentally new system when ecological, economic, or social structures make the existing system untenable. The implications of this interpretation of SES dynamics for sustainability science include changing the focus from seeking optimal states and the determinants of maximum sustainable yield (the MSY paradigm), to resilience analysis, adaptive resource management, and adaptive governance.
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We reviewed a broad range of scenarios of the future developed for Australia and globally and developed a synthesis for Australia. Our four synthesis scenarios were structured around two axes: (1) individual vs. community orientation and (2) whether biophysical limits are binding on continued GDP growth or could be overcome with technology. While global scenarios have explored transformational or collapse futures, very few scenarios at the national scale for Australia have done so. Australian scenarios have also not articulated positive futures that are very different from the status quo. We have addressed this gap. We describe each scenario in tabular and summary form. We also developed a public opinion survey to be used to involve Australians in ranking the scenarios and thinking about the future they want. This extension of scenario planning is novel and we hope to employ it to improve thinking, discussion, and policy about Australia’s future.
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Resilience Thinking, published by Island Press in 2006, addressed an essential question: As the natural systems that sustain us are subjected to shock after shock, how much can they take and still deliver the services we need from them? Resilience Practice takes the notion of resilience one step further, applying resilience ideas to real-world situations and exploring how systems can be managed to promote and sustain resilience. Resilience Practice will help people with an interest in the "coping capacity" of systems from farms and catchments to regions and nations to better understand how resilience thinking can be put into practice. It offers an easy-to-read but scientifically robust guide through the real-world application of the concept of resilience and is a must read for anyone concerned with the management of systems at any scale.
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This randomized controlled study compared acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and a control group. The participants were 50 incarcerated women diagnosed with current substance use disorder. Two psychologists carried out pre- and posttreatment assessment and a 6-month follow-up assessment using the following instruments: Anxiety Sensitivity Index, Addiction Severity Index-6, Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, and Acceptance and Action Questionnaire. The study shows that the women who received treatment benefited differentially from the interventions. At posttreatment, CBT was more effective than ACT in reducing anxiety sensitivity; however, at follow-up, ACT was more effective than CBT in reducing drug use (43.8 vs. 26.7%, respectively) and improving mental health (26.4% vs. 19.4%, respectively). ACT may be an alternative to CBT for treatment of drug abuse and associated mental disorders. In fact, at long-term, ACT may be more appropriate than CBT for incarcerated women who present serious problems.
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The ruined cities, temples, and statues of history's great, vanished societies (Easter Island, Anasazi, the Lowland Maya, Angkor Wat, Great Zimbabwe and many more) are the birthplace of endless romantic mysteries. But these disappearances offer more than idle conjecture: the social collapses were due in part to the types of environmental problems that beset us today. Yet many societies facing similar problems do not collapse. What makes certain societies especially vulnerable? Why didn't their leaders perceive and solve their environmental problems? What can we learn from their fates, and what can we do differently today to help us avoid their fates?
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IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios Contents: Foreword Preface Summary for policymakers Technical Summary Chapter 1: Background and Overview Chapter 2: An Overview of the Scenario Literature Chapter 3: Scenario Driving Forces Chapter 4: An Overview of Scenarios Chapter 5: Emission Scenarios Chapter 6: Summary Discussions and Recommendations
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Uses the term "social trap" to describe situations like a fish trap, where individuals, organizations, and societies get started in a direction that later proves unpleasant or lethal but difficult to back out of; actions or inactions prompted by self-interest create long-range effects that are to almost no one's interest. Skinnerian mechanisms of reinforcement of behavior are applied to this concept. Examples of 3 types of trap are given: the 1-person trap, which may be caused by delay, ignorance, or sliding reinforcers; the group trap, or "missing-hero" type; and the collective trap, caused by too many individuals seeking the same good. Locked-in patterns of collective behavior, characteristic of social traps, are described as the "invisible hand," "the invisible fist," and the "invisible chain." Ways out of the social trap are suggested. "Nested traps"-the most difficult to escape from-are also discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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A resource management simulation was devised in which players could harvest points for individual short-term gain, causing the premature destruction of the resource pool, or they could curb their own individual harvesting to preserve the pool for a longer overall supply. Although the first strategy was explained to be self-defeating, most groups opted for it, as they did even when an optimal harvesting strategy was provided that would avoid pool destruction. Groups whose members were allowed to communicate generally made better resource managers and achieved larger individual harvests.
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Greater recognition of the seriousness of global environmental change has led to an increase in research that assesses the vulnerability of households, communities and regions to changing environmental or economic conditions. So far, however, there has been relatively little attention given to how assessments can be conducted in ways that help build capacity for local communities to understand and find their own solutions to their problems. This paper reports on an approach that was designed and used to work with a local grass roots organization in the Solomon Islands to promote inclusivity and participation in decision-making and to build the capacity of the organization to reduce the vulnerability of communities to drivers of change. The process involved working collaboratively with the organization and training its members to conduct vulnerability assessments with communities using participatory and deliberative methods. To make best use of the learning opportunities provided by the research process, specific periods for formal reflection were incorporated for the three key stakeholders involved: the primary researchers; research assistants; and community members. Overall, the approach: (1) promoted learning about the current situation in Kahua and encouraged deeper analysis of problems; (2) built capacity for communities to manage the challenges they were facing; and (3) fostered local ownership and responsibility for problems and set precedents for future participation in decision-making. While the local organization and the communities it serves still face significant challenges, the research approach set the scene for greater local participation and effort to maintain and enhance livelihoods and wellbeing. The outcomes highlight the need for greater emphasis on embedding participatory approaches in vulnerability assessments for communities to benefit fully from the process.
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Current trends to improve the adaptiveness of community forest management focus on monitoring past actions and emphasize internal dynamics. We show how scenario methods can be used to (1) enable managers to better understand landscape and larger scale forces for change and to work with stakeholders at these levels and (2) improve adaptiveness not only by responding to changes, but also by anticipating them. We review methods related to scenario analysis and discuss how they can be adapted to community management settings to improve the responsiveness and the collaboration among stakeholders. The review is used to identify the key elements of scenario methods that CIFOR will test among communities in Bulungan Regency, East Kalimantan, Indonesia and two villages in the buffer zone of Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar.
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The present study compared methadone maintenance alone to methadone maintenance in combination with 16 weeks of either Intensive Twelve-Step Facilitation (ITSF) or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in a preliminary efficacy trial with polysubstance-abusing opiate addicts who were continuing to use drugs while on methadone maintenance. Results showed that the addition of ACT was associated with lower objectively assessed opiate and total drug use during follow-up than methadone maintenance alone, and lower subjective measures of total drug use at follow-up. An intent-to-treat analysis which assumed that missing drug data indicated drug use also provided support for the reliability of objectively assessed total drug use decreases in the ACT condition. ITSF reduced objective measures of total drug use during follow-up but not in the intent-to-treat analyses. Most measures of adjustment and psychological distress improved in all conditions, but there was no evidence of differential improvement across conditions in these areas. Both ACT and ITSF merit further exploration as a means of reducing severe drug abuse.
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"Technology is not the answer to the population problem. Rather, what is needed is 'mutual coercion mutually agreed upon'--everyone voluntarily giving up the freedom to breed without limit. If we all have an equal right to many 'commons' provided by nature and by the activities of modern governments, then by breeding freely we behave as do herders sharing a common pasture. Each herder acts rationally by adding yet one more beast to his/her herd, because each gains all the profit from that addition, while bearing only a fraction of its costs in overgrazing, which are shared by all the users. The logic of the system compels all herders to increase their herds without limit, with the 'tragic,' i.e. 'inevitable,' 'inescapable' result: ruin the commons. Appealing to individual conscience to exercise restraint in the use of social-welfare or natural commons is likewise self-defeating: the conscientious will restrict use (reproduction), the heedless will continue using (reproducing), and gradually but inevitably the selfish will out-compete the responsible. Temperance can be best accomplished through administrative law, and a 'great challenge...is to invent the corrective feedbacks..to keep custodians honest.'"