Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Top Scientific Meeting Urges Coordinated Response To Economic And Environmental Crises

Date:
November 11, 2008
Source:
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
Summary:
A fix for the economy must address ecological threats, a top international scientific meeting here has urged. Human society is moving dangerously beyond the planet's natural limits in a striking parallel to the financial debt crisis. "We're running the planet like a subprime loan," Dr. Johan Rockstrom of the Stockholm Resilience Center said. A coordinated response would reduce the risks of both kinds of crises in the future.

A fix for the economy must address ecological threats, a top international scientific meeting here has urged. Human society is moving dangerously beyond the planet's natural limits in a striking parallel to the financial debt crisis. “We're running the planet like a subprime loan,” Dr. Johan Rockstrφm of the Stockholm Resilience Centre said. A coordinated response would reduce the risks of both kinds of crises in the future.

Related Articles


Climate change, water and food scarcity, energy security and dangerous pollution are among urgent and accelerating problems across all aspects of the Earth system, the summit of high profile experts from 22 countries confirmed. Convened by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP), summit participants noted the alarming fact that global carbon emissions have been increasing faster than any of the IPCC's scenarios from just 5 years ago, according to recent measurements.

“The consequences of the financial breakdown threaten the economic system. The consequences of the breakdown of the ecological system will be far worse in just a slightly longer time frame. Now as you're going to fix a short-term problem, take the opportunity to fix these long-term problems,” said Prof. Thomas B Johansson, a Lund University energy expert who is also Co-Chair of the Global Energy Assessment.

New economic agreements can and should heed natural limits and put the global recovery on a less carbon and resource intensive pathway. Recent economic trends were on course to raise global temperature by 4 to 6 degrees by the year 2100, levels considered catastrophic, according to IPCC projections.

Greener societies would lower risks while providing better quality of life, eliminating poverty and enhancing social coherence. In contrast, using the conventional measure of GDP growth as the lead indicator of national policies “has been badly misleading us,” Prof. Robert Costanza, an ecological economist at the University of Vermont, noted here.

New policies must tackle problems using an integrated Earth systems approach, including all human-environment interactions. Dr. Jill Jδger, senior researcher at the Sustainable Europe Research Institute, explained that what is missing are flexible processes that allow both multi-part dialogue and higher rates of learning to link expert knowledge to action effectively.

“The situation requires urgent action, the equivalent of war-time mobilisation. We need to drive solutions together, through best policies from governments, best practices from industry, and best behaviours from consumers,” commented Mr. Anthony Simon, a former senior Unilever executive now active in networks including the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

The summit, an activity of IGBP’s “The Planet in 2050” research initiative, tasked 4 working groups on energy technology, land-use, culture-development-economy, and interchanges with the Earth system, to define desirable visions of the planet in 2050 and identify pathways, obstacles and opportunities. It will soon publish a public report. “A plan for a sustainable planet is doable,” Prof. Guy Brasseur of the US National Center for Atmospheric Research and one of the meeting's initiators, said. “It requires immediate measures. Long term, it will require different education systems that are conceived around the need to reconcile human beings with the rest of nature.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. "Top Scientific Meeting Urges Coordinated Response To Economic And Environmental Crises." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081106121953.htm>.
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. (2008, November 11). Top Scientific Meeting Urges Coordinated Response To Economic And Environmental Crises. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081106121953.htm
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. "Top Scientific Meeting Urges Coordinated Response To Economic And Environmental Crises." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081106121953.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) — The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) — Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins