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Sustainable Development History. Critique of traditional development Contributing to health problems, ecological degradation, poverty and social injustice Undermining ecological, social and economic capital of communities SD as remedy. Dimensions of Sustainability. Human Health

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Sustainable Development History

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    1. Sustainable Development History Critique of traditional development Contributing to health problems, ecological degradation, poverty and social injustice Undermining ecological, social and economic capital of communities SD as remedy.

    2. Dimensions of Sustainability • Human Health • Social Justice & Equity • Economic Opportunity for All • Ecological Integrity & Diversity

    3. Sustainability requires that we focus simultaneously on systemic changes that improve health for current and future humans, build strong, secure and thriving communities, provide economic opportunity for all by restoring and preserving the integrity of the life support system.

    4. Why Sustainability Now? We are the first generation capable of determining the habitability of the planet for humans and other species.  

    5. Why Sustainability & Why Now? • Human presence on a global scale • All living systems in long term decline at unprecedented and accelerating rate • Old and new epidemics • Unprecedented growth in population and consumption • Gap between rich and poor accelerating • Political instability and war • Protracted energy challenge/crisis • Global Warming

    6. life supporting resources declining consumption of life supporting resources rising Global Perspective

    7. Systems Problem & Design Failure

    8. Principles of Sustainability Economy Society Ecology

    9. Social Well-being Flourishing Environment Strong Economy Sustainable Society

    10. Ice Cores Preserve the History of Atmospheric CO2 The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has never been above 300 ppm for at least the last 430,000 years (and probably not for the last 30 million years!)

    11. Computer models of climate match the observations only when natural and human “forcings” are included in the models. The human forcings are responsible for most of the rapid warming 1970-2000.

    12. Coastal glaciers are retreating Muir Glacier, Alaska, 1941-2004 August 1941 August 2004 NSIDC/WDC for Glaciology, Boulder, compiler. 2002, updated 2006. Online glacier photograph database. Boulder, CO: National Snow and Ice Data Center.

    13. Soon Americans will have to settle for a Non-Glacier National Park.

    14. Greenland ice Melting 1992, 2002, and 2005 Greenland summer surface melting, 1992-2005 1992 2002 2005 In 1992 scientists measured this amount of melting in Greenland as indicated by red areas on the map Ten years later, in 2002, the melting was much worse And in 2005, it accelerated dramatically yet again Source: ACIA, 2004 and CIRES, 2005

    15. Shrinking mountain glaciers The famous snows of Kilimanjaro have been shrinking rapidly in recent decades and are nearly gone. This is particularly significant because high-elevation ice and snow near the equator does not vary much except when climate is changing globally. The decline between 1912 and 2000 was 81%

    16. SOCIETY’S CHOICES • Mitigation, meaning measures to reduce the pace & magnitude of the changes in global climate being caused by human activities. • Adaptation, meaning measures to reduce the adverse impacts on human well-being resulting from the changes in climate that do occur. • Suffering the adverse impacts that are not avoided by either mitigation or adaptation.

    17. Combining the ice-core data and the direct measurements from Mauna Loa yields a curve strikingly similar to the curve that describes…

    18. Making the “Invisible” “Visible”

    19. From Fossil powered Take, make, waste Living off nature’s capital Market as master Loss of cultural & biological diversity Individual centered To Solar powered Cyclical production Living off nature’s income Market as servant Increased cultural & biological diversity Community centered Global Transition

    20. Reversing Climate Disruption Energy Efficiency Renewable Energy wind, solar, geothermal, hydro Land use & transportation higher density, less auto dependence alternative fuels for vehicles “Circular” economy Sustainable/local agriculture Carbon sequestration

    21. Sustainability Frameworks & Tools • Systemic, holistic, integrative thinking • The Natural Step • Ecological Footprint • Biomimicry • Natural Capitalism • Life Cycle Analysis • LEED • Others

    22. Higher Education’s Importance to Sustainability • Influences current & future leaders & professionals • Deeply influences K-12 education • Dedicated to new ideas, exploration and experimentation • Has critical mass & diversity of skills necessary • Crucial but overlooked leverage point in transition to sustainability

    23. Opportunity in Higher Education • 4,096 U.S. Colleges and Universities1 • 14.8 million students1 • $277 billion annual expenditures; 2.8% of the GDP1 • Higher education expenditures greater than the GDP of all but 25 countries in the world2 • 1 From: 2001 Digest of Education Statistics, US Dept. of Education. • 2 From: 2001 CIA World Factbook and Dowling, Mike., "Interactive Table of World Nations," available from; Internet; updated Friday, June 29, 2001

    24. Higher Education Modeling Sustainabilityas a Fully Integrated Community

    25. Higher Education Changes • Interdependent & Intergenerational ‘Worldview’ • Problem Solving to Creating • Systems thinking as a fundamental framework • ‘Knowing’ to ‘Learning’ Communities • Making ‘invisible’ ‘visible’

    26. Education for Sustainability • Integrated, interdisciplinary learning • “Lateral” & “vertical” rigor in learning • Ethics, values & sustainability seamlessly integral to all disciplines • Collaborative & experiential learning • Practicing sustainability on campus and with communities

    27. Administrators Faculty Operations & facilities managers Students Trustees Staff Higher Ed Associations Alumni Parents of students Communities Accreditation orgs. Future Employers Funders Professionals Future Generations World cultures Biosphere & all its species Higher Education Stakeholders

    28. Sina Qua Non Communication is to sustainability what Location is to real estate

    29. American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment • Voluntary effort ~ to Mayor’s Climate Agreement • Organized by AASHE, Second Nature & ecoAmerica • Commit to 3 actions • Plan within 2 years to achieve climate neutrality • GHG Inventory • Operations, Education & Research • Adoption of select emission reduction measures • Public reporting on plans and progress thru AASHE

    30. American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment • Phase 1 • Development of policies, documents, website, marketing, website, plan • Recruit Leadership Circle & signatories • Phase 2 • Launch w/in HE community - late Feb • Get 200 signatories • June 2007 summit • Phase 3 • Get 1000 signatories by Dec. 2009 • Support for and report on progress

    31. Arizona State University Bainbridge Graduate Institute Ball State University California State University, Chico Cape Cod Community College Central Washington University Chandler-Gilbert CC College of the Atlantic Columbus State CC Community College of Denver Connecticut College Drury University Eastern University Iowa Lakes Community College Los Angeles CC District Mount Wachusett CC Norfolk StateUniversity Oberlin College Ohlone College Olympic College Pacific Lutheran University Randolph College University of Florida University of Tennessee U Wisconsin - Green Bay U Wisconsin – Oshkosh U Wisconsin – River Falls ACUPCC Signatories Jan.

    32. The Natural Step • A Framework & Organization • Compass toward sustainability • Based on immutable natural Laws • True systems thinking • Easily understandable at all levels • Scale • Knowledge

    33. The Earth as a System

    34. life supporting resources declining consumption of life supporting resources rising Global Perspective

    35. A Metaphorical Funnel

    36. System Overview Fundamental Principles = trunk and branches Details = leaves

    37. Basic science • Nothing disappears Law of conservation of matter & energy First law of thermodynamics • Matter & Energy tend to disperse Second law of thermodynamics (entropy law)

    38. Basic science continued… • Order, concentration and structure determine matter quality • Photosynthesis is the primary provider of net order: “plants pay the bills”

    39. Natural Cycles

    40. Present Society

    41. Sustainable Society

    42. Sustainability Principles In the sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing… Increasing concentrations of substances extracted from the earth’s crust Increasing concentrations of substances produced by society Degradation by physical means and… human needs are met worldwide. The Natural Step guiding principles