Science for Global Sustainability: Toward a New Paradigm

33 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2005

See all articles by William C. Clark

William C. Clark

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Paul J. Crutzen

Max Planck Institute for Chemistry

Hans J. Schellnhuber

Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK)

Date Written: March 2005

Abstract

This paper provides a context for the Dahlem Workshop on "Earth System Analysis for Sustainability." The authors begin by characterizing the contemporary epoch of Earth history in which humanity has emerged as a major - and uniquely self-reflexive - geological force. They turn next to the extraordinary revolution in our understanding of the Earth system that is now underway, pointing out how it has built on and qualitatively extended the approaches that have served science and society so well since the first Copernican revolution. The authors then discuss the novel challenges posed by the urgent need to harness science and other forms of knowledge in promoting a worldwide sustainability transition that enhances human prosperity while protecting the Earth's life-support systems and reducing hunger and poverty. Finally, the authors provide an overview of how the contributions to this Dahlem Workshop addressed the themes and challenges outlined in this introductory chapter.

Keywords: Dahlem Workshop, sustainability science, sustainable development, sustainability transition, Earth system analysis, Earth system science, integrated systems, global environmental change, science and technology, Wissenschaft, adaptive management, social learning, vulnerability, resilience

JEL Classification: Q01, Q56, O19, O31, O32, O33, Z13, F02, H87, I3

Suggested Citation

Clark, William C. and Crutzen, Paul J. and Schellnhuber, Hans J., Science for Global Sustainability: Toward a New Paradigm (March 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=702501 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.702501

William C. Clark (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

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Paul J. Crutzen

Max Planck Institute for Chemistry ( email )

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Germany

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Hans J. Schellnhuber

Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) ( email )

P.O. Box 601203
14412 Potsdam, Brandenburg
Germany

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