Browsing All Posts filed under »Sustainability«

Talking about Population

February 16, 2012 by

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Summary: The ‘population question’ comes and goes, but the issue never really goes away, and there is still a general unwillingness to talk about it. While I certainly don’t see it as the world’s greatest threat, I think the goal of a stable population across the world is an honerable one, and one unavoidable requirement […]

The point of no return

January 22, 2012 by

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Summary: Tipping points are when systems suddenly change very quickly to another state. In ecosystems this can be catastrophic, with examples including suddenly increasing rates of forest loss or climatic warming. Veraart et al.’s (2011) research, published in Nature, allows us to be aware of whether tipping points are being approached by monitoring how quickly […]

Equality: The Answer to Everything?

January 2, 2012 by

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Summary: The book The Spirit Level published in 2009 outlines strong empirical proof that greater income equality creates a better society. Greater equality is inversely correlated with a large number of social problems, and even rich people are shown to be better off in more equal societies. Causation is supported by reasoning and experimental evidence. […]

What makes a Climate Leader?

December 23, 2011 by

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Summary: Everybody has an influence on those around them, the only question is whether that influence is positive or negative. This article investigates the characteristics of climate change leadership, arguing that everybody has the possibility of being a climate leader. Power is not required for climate leadership, only the possibility to positively influence others around […]

We are the 99%, and we are to blame

December 10, 2011 by

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Summary: The slogan ‘we are the 99%’ lets us off too easily, and lays the blame on the 1%. In reality, it is our shared values that are to blame for the crises we are facing. Something about the Occupy Movement has been bugging me, and now I think I have come to realise what it […]

Is Sustainability Relative?

October 17, 2011 by

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Appropriate strategies for sustainable development are context-specific, with different priorities depending on how far people are up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. A four point strategy for identifying approaches for sustainable development is outlined and the importance of regulatory ‘top-down’ intervention emphasized. The concept of sustainable development concerns the management of resources available to humanity. My […]

Happiness and income comparisons: Biased methods consecrate a worldview

May 1, 2011 by

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A paper came out (May 2010) in the Economic Journal on the impact of income comparisons on subjective wellbeing. The researchers, Andrew E. Clark and Claudia Senik from the Paris School of Economics and the Institute for the Study of Labour at Bonn (IZA), analysed data on income comparisons from the European Social Survey, covering […]