Presentation on theme: "Social Ecology: World Sustainability"— Presentation transcript:
1 Social Ecology: World Sustainability The Ecological CrisisSocial Ecology: World Sustainability
2 Paradigm TheoryCultural Groups Develop “insider” views of the world---shared sets of assumptions, jargon, definitions, methods---that cause them to see the world similarly.Resist changeAnomalyExplanationCrisisAlternative ExplanationDefenseRevolution
3 Raising the Alarm in the 1960s Murray Bookchin (aka Lewis Herbert) Our Synthetic Environment, 1962“to suggest that pesticides, food additives, chemicalized agriculture, burgeoning urbanization and nuclear energy were harmful was regarded not merely as “reactionary” but as a national heresy” given the sentiment “characteristic of the country as a whole---the equating of progress with mindless growth and the technocratic ideal of `progress above all.’”
4 Raising the Alarm in the 1960s Rachel Carson Our Silent Spring 1962“the controversy that exploded around Rachel Carson’s book….highlights the extent to which American public opinion, orchestrated by corporate interests and government agencies, adhered to a “grow or die” economic mentality and a domineering attitude toward the natural world.” [Bookchin, X11]
9 Limits to Growth 1972 The Club of Rome The world first confronts the reality that resources limits constrain growth.The Club of Rome---an international organization of scholars, industrialists and scientists from 25 nations funded Denis and Donella Meadows to run a computer model projecting conditions in 2100 from known data
10 The World Model Jay Forrester MIT Model complex systems and project outcomes given specified assumptionsOvercome humans’ limited ability to handle complexity and large number of variables.Ex. Of simple linear extrapolation:Herman Kahn The Year 2000 (Hudson Institute) failed to anticipate energy, pollution or population problems. Assumed economic and technological growth would handle all problems.
11 Modeling Complex Systems Cont. Complex systems have multiple feedback loopsShort run, linear decision making fails to anticipate unexpected resultsex. Iron rule of highways.each variable affects allSynergistic interactions = 5ex. Drug interactionsTime Delayex. Ozone hole, climate change
12 Modeling Complex Systems Cont. Von Bertalanffy---General Systems TheoryThrough-putoutputinputSYSTEM:CLOSEDOR OPEN
13 Buckminister Fuller: “Make the world work, for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.”Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth 1963Dymaxion and Geodesic Dome
14 Forrester Assumed that Social Systems: Engage in counterintuitive behaviorThe welfare of the system may be contradicted by subsystems with different goalsThe actions of one subsystem affect allShort term improvements conflict with long term perspectives because consequences invariably lead to degradationAre insensitive to policy changes intended to change the system’s behavior.
15 System Dynamic Computer Modeling Assume key variables, trends and weighting of factors plus interactive factors.Use mathematical equations to simulate multiple interactions and non-linear relations among variables.Clearly specify assumptions.Can change assumptions as new information comes to light. Test different scenarios.Not predicting the future but projecting current trends to see consequences and allow for correction.
16 5 Key Variables Dynamically Interacted PopulationPollutionNatural ResourcesIndustrial Output per capitaFood per capita
17 LimitationsCrude---ex. Pollution omitted many types of pollution and focused only on long lived types.Resources lumped all together.Assume resources last 250 years at 1970 use rates.
18 6 Major AssumptionsFinite stock of exploitable, non-renewable resourcesFinite amount of land to grow foodFinite capacity of environment to absorb pollutionTechnological change is incremental assuming money and environmental technology to allow.Finite yield of food from any unit of arable land
19 Thomas Malthus 1798 Malthus published On Population. Imbalance between population and resources is inevitable becauseFood increases arithmeticallyPopulation increases geometrically“God created a world in which the power of the eater to reproduce himself is of a superior order than that of the earth to produce food because fear of starvation stimulates men to be industrious.”
20 Assumptions Continued 6. Exponential growth of population, pollution and industrial output as long as resources and their interaction permit.Ex. World population increasing at 1.7% -1.8%.Population increased more than 6x in 200 years.
21 World Population (billions) 6.5 billion in 20054 billion in 1975The MA focused on population growth in last 50 years. From MA Synthesis: “Between 1960 and 2000, the demand for ecosystem servicesgrew significantly as world population doubled to 6 billion people ...” This figure (not from the MA) illustrates that recent growth but in the context of the longer term trends. Sources are listed below.1 billion in about 1804, 2 billion in 1927 (123 years to double), 4 billion in 1974 (54 yrs to double); 6.5 billion in July In the last 45 years (since 1960) more people have been added to the planet (3.4 billion) than lived on the planet in 1960.Source (1950 to 2050): Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2004 Revision and World Urbanization Prospects: The 2003 Revision, 06 July 2005; 1:30:16 PM.Source ( ): Ronald Lee, “The Demographic Transition: Three Centuries of Fundamental Change”, Journal of Economics Perspectives, Volume 17, Number 4—Fall 2003—Pages 167–190.Source (pre 1700): Population Reference Bureau: "World population expanded to about 300 million by A.D. 1 and continued to grow at a moderate rate. But after the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, living standards rose and widespread famines and epidemics diminished in some regions. Population growth accelerated. The population climbed to about 760 million in 1750 and reached 1 billion around 1800"2 billion in 19201 billion in 1800Source: UN Population Division 2004; Lee, 2003; Population Reference Bureau
22 Exponential GrowthWhen a quantity changes exponentially, its value will double (or halve) in regular time intervals.The time it takes to double depends on the annual percent of growth. You calculate doubling time by dividing this annual growth rate into 70.Doubling time in years = 70/growth rate or 70/1.8=39 years.
23 World GDP (trillion 1990 dollars) $52 trillion in 2003$10 trillion in 1967Global economic activity increased nearly seven-fold between 1950 and Gross World Product expected to increase 3-6 fold between 2000 and 2050 in MA scenarios. The figure shown here is not in the MA but the data for the period 1960 to 2005 are consistent with the MA findings. Source for data used to plot the figure:Source: Estimating World GDP, One Million B.C. - Present; J. Bradford DeLong;$1 trillion in 1900Source: DeLong 1998
24 New York City’s Solar Energy Future The Center for Sustainable Energy at Bronx Community College, January 2006
25 NEOMALTHUSIAN INEQUITY We live in a world where1/5 of people and 1/3 of children are hungry1/5 of people lack clean water1/5 of people lack adequate housing1/3 of people lack health care and fuel½ of people lack sanitation¼ of adults cannot read and write
28 World Population (billions) 6.5 billion in 20054 billion in 1975The MA focused on population growth in last 50 years. From MA Synthesis: “Between 1960 and 2000, the demand for ecosystem servicesgrew significantly as world population doubled to 6 billion people ...” This figure (not from the MA) illustrates that recent growth but in the context of the longer term trends. Sources are listed below.1 billion in about 1804, 2 billion in 1927 (123 years to double), 4 billion in 1974 (54 yrs to double); 6.5 billion in July In the last 45 years (since 1960) more people have been added to the planet (3.4 billion) than lived on the planet in 1960.Source (1950 to 2050): Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2004 Revision and World Urbanization Prospects: The 2003 Revision, 06 July 2005; 1:30:16 PM.Source ( ): Ronald Lee, “The Demographic Transition: Three Centuries of Fundamental Change”, Journal of Economics Perspectives, Volume 17, Number 4—Fall 2003—Pages 167–190.Source (pre 1700): Population Reference Bureau: "World population expanded to about 300 million by A.D. 1 and continued to grow at a moderate rate. But after the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, living standards rose and widespread famines and epidemics diminished in some regions. Population growth accelerated. The population climbed to about 760 million in 1750 and reached 1 billion around 1800"2 billion in 19201 billion in 1800Source: UN Population Division 2004; Lee, 2003; Population Reference Bureau
29 Findings of Limits to Growth If population and industrial growth continue to J curve, sometime after 2000, nonrenewable resources will be depleted and a population crash will follow de to scarcity of food and medicine.If assume technological advance doubles all resource reserves and you allow 75% recycling, there will be a sharp increase in pollution increasing death rates and causing a population crash.
30 BEYOND THE LIMITS, Meadows, et al. Tom Tietenberg; Harper Collins, 1992
31 Condition of Improving Standard of Living with Population Increase If world averages 2 children per familyIf world industrial output/capita stabilizes at 1975 levelsIf reduce resource consumption and pollution to ¼ of 1970 levelsIf shift consumption from material goods to servicesIf direct capital toward food production, soil enrichment and erosion controlIf industrial capacity is built to last much longer.
32 Criticisms of Limits to Growth Not Assume technology and ingenuity increases to solve all problemsNot assume people can adapt to all conditionsNot objective; computer replaces humansFailure assured given exponential growth and finite resourcesFatalistic---lessen hope, self fulfilling prophesyLumps unique regions of the globe togetherSee
33 Mankind at the Turning Point Messarovic and Pestel 1974 To address criticism that world regions differ2nd study divided world into ten regions.Despite assuming technological optimism, more pessimistic.Unless economy and growth redistributed from rich to poor nations,Resources and food will collapse by 2050 in poor nations causing a population crashInterdependency means regional collapse will pull all down. Ex. Asian Flu 1998
34 Changed Debate Move to neo-malthusian view Not just population, but increased resource use is problemRecognize World System---interconnectedDifferences between poor and rich countriesWest plus Japan and Russia --- ¼ population and 80% resource useUS 5% world population, 1/3 resource use and 1/3 pollution
35 Global July 1980In May 1977, President Carter ordered a study of world population and natural resources through 2000.Done by US CEQ and DOSUS govt. lacked a tradition of long term planningTrend projection using long term global data and models employed by federal agencies.
36 Global 2000 Conservative Bias Used existing long term data and models of US governmentData on population, GNP, resources and environment taken sequentiallyThus, not interact factorsAllocate resources repetitiouslyAssume continued growth of earth’s goods and services without maintenance or higher costs
37 Assumptions of Global 2000 Continuation of public policy Continuation of rapid technological development without resistance(ex. Continually increasing crop yields)Assume that shortages of resources cause rising prices which will drop demandInternational trade not disturbed by war, politics or economics, etc.
38 Sample Findings Global 2000 As population increases, the gap between the rich and poor will widenFood production increase 90% assuming constant climate and environmentDue to energy intensive farming not new landFertilizer, pesticide, machines, irrigationOnly a 15% per capita increaseCosts of food doubleIncrease food importationBulk of food go to rich# of malnourished triple to 1.3 billion
39 Sample Findings Global 2000 #2 Food Cont.1 hectare of arable land (2.5 acres) support peoplepeople LDC 5.5 peopleSoil loses yearly size of Maine; by 2000 lose 1/3 world’s arable landIncreased use of grain for alcohol fuelsContradiction—increase production from Green Revolution ignores degradation from soil loss
40 Sample Findings Global 2000 #3 Soil Destruction is constraint to food growth:Higher yields at cost of soil integrity:organic humus—nutrients, water absorptioninorganic clay and salts---infertilerock pieces, bedrockDesertification: barren land ex. Sahel3xovergrazing, farming on marginal landsDrought cycles
41 Sample Findings Global 2000 #4 Waterlogging, salinization, alkalinizationAsia, S. America, Californiacollapse of Mesopotamia and Upper NileDeforestration---increased flood and erosionErosion---corn and marginal land farmingLoss of organic matter and largest CO2 sinkDevelopment---urbanization of river valleys, industrialization, sprawl
42 Sample Findings Global 2000 #5 Other factors affecting food:MonoculturesLoss of diversityUse of hybrids and designer cropsFuel subsidies to agriculturePollution from pesticides, fertilizers, etc.Net effect: shift farming from renewable to non-renewable and unsustainable basis!!!!
43 Sample Findings Global 2000 #6 Other Conclusions:Fisheries overexploitedLoss of forests ½ California/yearParticularly in LDCs (40% by 2000), Trop RFSevere Water shortagesdoubling with population, irrigationMineral resources no reserves, more $, inequityGlobal Climate Change by 2050Loss of 20% of all species as habitats vanishToxics cause health problemsOil reach maximum capacity despite higher prices
44 Sample Findings Global 2000 #7 The case of Fuel Wood¼ use wood for fuel “Poor man’s oil”By 2000, need exceed supply by 25%In Sahel (Sahara border) fuel wood gathering full time % family incomeNo trees left k around citiesDeforestation, erosion, desertification, higher costs, less fuel, and substitution of dung and crop residues.
45 Refutations of Global 2000Julian Simon Heritage Foundation, Herman Kahn Hudson foundation: “A Resourceful Earth”“The year 2000 will be less crowded (with more people), less polluted, more stable ecologically, less vulnerable to resource supply disruption. People will be richer and have more food.”
46 Refutations of Global 2000 Assumptions made by Simon and Kahn: No water shortagesSpread of cheap nuclear powerAir & water pollution overblown problemUS farmland not being urbanized signif.More than enough farmlandNo rapid species lossMore food to feed the hungryBirth rate down while life expectancy is up
47 Refutation of Global 2000 Simon and Kahn’s Magic: resource problems become opportunities inviting entrepreneurs to solve them with ingenuityWood crisis-coal, coal crisis-oil, whale oil-oilThey spur increases in knowledge which spurs growthSolutions to problems leave us better offEx. Rail to haul coalNeed stimulus for discovery
48 Refutations of Global 2000Simon & Kahn: People are not just the cause of problems but with training, the means to solve these problems: WE NEED MORE AND BIGGER PROBLEMSSteven Bardwell “The World Needs 10 Billion People” Fusion Sept. 1981“Qualitative innovations in technology must be planned on but cannot be planned for”fusion energy will allow more people and consumption (show chart)
49 Refutation of Global 2000Bardwell: Convert J curve of productivity to linear curve because:Higher population leads to increased labor division, ingenuity, ideas, increased productivityComplex technologies can support more peopleMore people are required for complex technologies
50 Our Common FutureWorld Commission on Environment and Development (aka. Brundtland Commission)Can’t separate economic development from environmental issuesInequality is main env. & devel. ProblemProblem of the rich over consumptionProblem of the poor natural disaster over timeexploit resources for export, debt, dumb aid, militarization, increase population, unemployment and cities, loss farmers, loss soil, drought and flood
51 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Our Common Future 2SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:Meeting the needs of the present without compromising future generations.Need for lifestyles within the planet’s ecological means; population size and growth in harmony with environment.
52 UN Conferences1972 Stockholm conference on the environment, consensus on problems of development.1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development---RioAgenda 212002 World Summit on Sustainable Development---Johannesburg
53 Web Sources: The (2005) Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Koffi Annan “We The Peoples: The Role of United Nations in the 21st Century.”Chapter 4 : “Sustaining Our Future.”Al Gore. An Inconvenient Truth.
54 Lovins: Soft Energy Paths Renewable energy flows (energy income)Diverse (many small contributors)Flexible and low techResilient/ decentralizedMatch in scale and geographic distribution to end use needsMatch in environmental quality to end use needs