Mind the sustainability gap

Joern Fischer*, Adrian D. Manning, Will Steffen, Deborah B. Rose, Katherine Daniell, Adam Felton, Stephen Garnett, Ben Gilna, Rob Heinsohn, David B. Lindenmayer, Ben MacDonald, Frank Mills, Barry Newell, Julian Reid, Libby Robin, Kate Sherren, Alan Wade

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    109 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Despite increasing efforts to reach sustainability, key global biophysical indicators such as climate change and biodiversity loss continue to deteriorate rather than improve. Ongoing failure to move towards sustainability calls into question the focus of current research and policy. We recommend two strategies for progress. First, sustainability must be conceptualized as a hierarchy of considerations, with the biophysical limits of the Earth setting the ultimate boundaries within which social and economic goals must be achieved. Second, transdisciplinary research programs must confront key normative questions facing modern consumer societies. The humanities should have a key role in such programs. Assisted by these strategies, ambitious targets that realistically reflect the biophysical limits of the life-support system of the Earth must be set and relentlessly worked towards.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)621-624
    Number of pages4
    JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
    Volume22
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

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