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Opportunities and Challenges for Environmental Sustainability: A Socioeconomic and Political Analysis

By Dufour, Fritz

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Book Id: WPLBN0100301898
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 2.21 MB.
Reproduction Date: 5/26/2019

Title: Opportunities and Challenges for Environmental Sustainability: A Socioeconomic and Political Analysis  
Author: Dufour, Fritz
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Science, Environmental Science
Collections: Authors Community, Science
Historic
Publication Date:
2019
Publisher: Fritz Dufour
Member Page: Fritz Dufour

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Dufour, F. (2019). Opportunities and Challenges for Environmental Sustainability: A Socioeconomic and Political Analysis. Retrieved from http://hawaiilibrary.com/


Description
This report is a socioeconomic and political analysis of environmental sustainability in terms of the present state of the environment, what we can do to reverse the negative trends, and what the current and potential barriers are. First, it offers a background of the issue through a historical perspective. How we got here has a lot to do with how previous generations behaved towards the environment. Similarly, how we behave will determine the kind of environment future generations will have to contend with. It looks at the dynamics likely to impact the balance of nature. Also, because understanding what is biodiversity and why is it important are essential in order to grasp the concept of sustainability, this report looks at the types of ecosystems that form the biosphere and brings an answer to this important question, “Is the Maximum sustainable yield (MSY) concept a fallacy?” Moreover, the importance of cities is a key factor in environmental sustainability. So, the report shows the pros and cons of cities in both the preservation of the environment and the conservation of its biodiversity. The social, economic, and political analyses use the latest data and views from experts, scientists, and scholars alike and also the views of the common people. The result is that all three levels have positives and negatives and so, none of them should be individually prioritized over the other two. To tackle this dilemma, the report offers an alternative: an inclusive, pluralistic, and global approach which aims at motivating all stakeholders – from rich and poor countries – and people from all walks of life to work together towards a common goal and common interests. Such an approach, says the report should be bottom-up instead of top-down, that is, the needs of local populations, especially those closer to biodiversity, must come first before those of large corporations. However, while in the present and short terms, this approach may be successful, in the long term or a distant future, there are reasons to be skeptical for the environment is constantly changing and generations are different from one another. And that is very important because what constitutes the cornerstone of environmental sustainability is this: the present use of natural resources should not be harmful to future generations. Therefore, the report looks into the future. While acknowledging that, in terms of environmental sustainability, predicting the future is a daunting task – because it is better to think that the future is now – the report shows how we can prepare a soft landing for our great grand-children by laying the groundwork for them. We can accomplish this last task because we still have time.

Summary
This report is a socioeconomic and political analysis of environmental sustainability in terms of the present state of the environment, what we can do to reverse the negative trends, and what the current and potential barriers are. First, it offers a background of the issue through a historical perspective. How we got here has a lot to do with how previous generations behaved towards the environment. Similarly, how we behave will determine the kind of environment future generations will have to contend with. It looks at the dynamics likely to impact the balance of nature. Also, because understanding what is biodiversity and why is it important are essential in order to grasp the concept of sustainability, this report looks at the types of ecosystems that form the biosphere and brings an answer to this important question, “Is the Maximum sustainable yield (MSY) concept a fallacy?” Moreover, the importance of cities is a key factor in environmental sustainability. So, the report shows the pros and cons of cities in both the preservation of the environment and the conservation of its biodiversity. The social, economic, and political analyses use the latest data and views from experts, scientists, and scholars alike and also the views of the common people. The result is that all three levels have positives and negatives and so, none of them should be individually prioritized over the other two. To tackle this dilemma, the report offers an alternative: an inclusive, pluralistic, and global approach which aims at motivating all stakeholders – from rich and poor countries – and people from all walks of life to work together towards a common goal and common interests. Such an approach, says the report should be bottom-up instead of top-down, that is, the needs of local populations, especially those closer to biodiversity, must come first before those of large corporations. However, while in the present and short terms, this approach may be successful, in the long term or a distant future, there are reasons to be skeptical for the environment is constantly changing and generations are different from one another. And that is very important because what constitutes the cornerstone of environmental sustainability is this: the present use of natural resources should not be harmful to future generations. Therefore, the report looks into the future. While acknowledging that, in terms of environmental sustainability, predicting the future is a daunting task – because it is better to think that the future is now – the report shows how we can prepare a soft landing for our great grand-children by laying the groundwork for them. We can accomplish this last task because we still have time.

Excerpt
The instrumental value of biodiversity has been the cornerstone of major debates over its loss, which, without doubt, will negatively impact our environment by either reducing or doing away with ecosystems services that most of us relish, so much so that our well-being depends on it. Nevertheless, all living things on this planet have been subject to an unprecedented assault at the hand of humanity. The assault is both direct and indirect. Direct because we drive vulnerable species to the brink of extinction by overhunting and overfishing them. Indirect because some of our activities causes the climate to change, thus affecting both land and marine flora and fauna. And this has been going on for centuries – at least since the start of the Industrial Revolution. Added to our insatiable desire to continuously alter the environment, is population growth, which has been a catalyst in the degradation of the environment for more people means more food, thus, more land for agricultural use and more land needed for accommodation and to build cities. The past century was marked by population size increase and technological capabilities of our species, two factors that put the extinction of other species on the fast track. That has prompted scientists to talk about the sixth great extinction wave, which is, of course, different from the first five because they were caused by natural events and not by intelligent species’ activities. This report has for goal to consider the chances that our environment will be sustainable or viable in the future and the potential obstacles it might encounter at three different levels: social, economic, and political.

Table of Contents
Acknowledgements………………………………………………………………………………………………….... 3 I: Executive Summary.....................................................................................................................................................4 II: Background and Prognoses…………………….........................................................................................................7 III: Dynamics impacting the Balance of Nature…………………………………….....................................................28 Human Dominion Over Nature and Speciesism...................................................................................29 Predation and Balance of Nature…………………………………………………...............................33 IV: What Is Biodiversity and Why Is It Important?…………………………………………………………………...37 Types of Ecosystems………………………………………………………………………………… 46 Failure of the Maximum Sustainable Yield Theory…………………………………………………. 54 V: Socially-Based Environmental Sustainability……………………..........................................................................58 Why Are Cities Important?....................................................................................................................62 The Status Quo of Socially-Based Environmental Sustainability…………………………………….66 What Can We Do To Improve Socially-Based Environmental Sustainability?………………………73 Barriers to Socially-Based Environmental Sustainability…………………………………………….86 VI: Economically-Based Environmental Sustainability………………………………………………………………93 The Status Quo of Economically-Based Environmental Sustainability.………………………………98 What Can We Do To Improve Economically-Based Environmental Sustainability?...........................108 Barriers to Economically-Based Environmental Sustainability……………………………………...120 VII: Politically-Based Environmental Sustainability……………………………………..........................................128 The Status Quo of Politically-Based Environmental Sustainability………………………………….132 What Can We Do To Improve Politically-Based Environmental Sustainability?................................147 Barriers to Politically-Based Environmental Sustainability………………………………………….152 VIII: Inclusive , pluralistic, and Global Approach to Preserving the Environment and to Conserving Biodiversity…………………………………………………………………………....161 IX: Looking into the Future………………………………………………………………………….........................176 X: Bibliography...……………………………………………………………………………………………………194 By the Same Author…………………………………………………………………………….................................213

 

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