Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2447118
 


 



The End of Sustainability


Melinda Harm Benson


University of New Mexico

Robin Kundis Craig


University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

May 7, 2014

Society and Natural Resources, 1-6, 2014, DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2014.901467
University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 83

Abstract:     
It is time to move past the concept of sustainability. The realities of the Anthropocene warrant this conclusion. They include unprecedented and irreversible rates of human induced biodiversity loss, exponential increases in per-capita resource consumption, and global climate change. These factors combine to create an increasing likelihood of rapid, nonlinear, social and ecological regime changes. The recent failure of the Rio 20 provides an opportunity to collectively reexamine — and ultimately move past — the concept of sustainability as an environmental goal. We must face the impossibility of defining — let alone pursuing — a goal of ‘‘sustainability’’ in a world characterized by such extreme complexity, radical uncertainty and lack of stationarity. After briefly examining sustainability’s failure, we propose resilience thinking as one possible new orientation and point to the challenges associated with translating resilience theory into policy application.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 9

Keywords: Anthropocene, resilience, sustainability

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Date posted: June 8, 2014 ; Last revised: July 10, 2014

Suggested Citation

Benson, Melinda Harm and Craig, Robin Kundis, The End of Sustainability (May 7, 2014). Society and Natural Resources, 1-6, 2014, DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2014.901467; University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 83. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2447118

Contact Information

Melinda Harm Benson (Contact Author)
University of New Mexico ( email )
107 Humanitites Building
Albuquerque, NM 87131-1221
United States
505-277-1629 (Phone)
505-277-3614 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.unm.edu/~mhbenson
Robin Kundis Craig
University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )
332 S. 1400 East Front
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

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