There has never been such a crying need for a bold vision of the future. If we fail to reverse the policies that have been driving climate change, we face disaster on a world scale. Yet since the 1980s, radical politics has lost its vision of how to create a qualitatively better society for everyone and lost the ability to inspire. In ‘A Convenient Truth’ Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett set out a path towards a society that’s better for us and the planet. Inequality drives status insecurity, which fuels the consumerism that is destroying our planet. But the things we buy aren’t making us any happier: the link between economic development and real improvements in quality of life is broken in rich societies. For real improvements in wellbeing, we need a more equal society, which is best achieved by putting democracy at the heart of the economy. Indeed, the authors see the extension of democracy into economic institutions as the next major step in the long project of human emancipation.
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While our ethical traditions know how to deal with homicide and even genocide these traditions collapse entirely when confronted with ecocide and biocide. Today we live in an ethically confusing and contradictory world, a world in which sentiment and brutality exist side by side. At the same time as modern thinkers seek to extend the circle of moral consideration to other animals, humanity inflicts more suffering on more creatures than at any time in history. Is this really what we want to do to creation...to drive it to extinction? But extinction is irreversible. Species that go extinct are lost forever. This is not Jurassic Park - we can't bring them back! Over the last century we've participated in something of a binge of unbelievable prosperity. We may have had some intuition that it was a binge and the earth couldn't support it but aside from the easy things, biodegradable detergent or slightly smaller cars, we haven't done very much. We haven't turned our lives around. How we've reached this nadir is just one theme explored in All Things Are Connected, a film that takes us back to our beginning and investigates how both religion and science have carelessly misinterpreted an ancient injunction to have dominion over creation, as a licence to dominate at any cost.
Is economic growth always a good thing? Why are people in countries like the US and UK not happier or working fewer hours when GDP has tripled since 1950? Dan O'Neill's thought-provoking...
The coming decades will throw up huge challenges and extraordinary uncertainty. As the world becomes increasingly inter-connected, we’ll cross thresholds in environmental, social and economic systems. Unforeseen events, so-called black swans, will happen. We do know the world population will grow, food production will be challenged, and the supply of some resources will struggle to keep up with demand. But opportunities are bound to emerge from these challenges. If we seize the opportunities we could produce a much more stable, equal and healthy society by 2050. We could provide well-being for everyone and for our planet.
A 90 minute film directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot. Can we imagine a film that would change the way people look at the ocean? Can we explain simply, to everyone, the greatest natural mystery of our planet? And lastly, can we help our children believe in a better and more sustainable world tomorrow? This is the triple challenge of a new cinema adventure signed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and editor- in-chief Michael Pitiot, who brings with him the scientific missions of TARA, a unique pool of researchers, oceanographers and biologists from several countries. Thanks to its astonishing photography, the film takes us on a magnificent and unprecedented journey into the heart of the least known regions of our planet. The film narrates the most marvelous and also the most terrifying human experiences of our time. Filmed in extreme geographical conditions all over the glove, it describes the modern Odyssey of people who go out to discover their blue planet. The film is also a plea for humanity to respect the world in which we live. It serves a noble and universal cause.
Directed by photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand and narrated by Glenn Close, HOME takes you on a visually stunning, spectacular voyage around the world. It is a unique film that approaches the current debate about climate change from a whole new angle, giving viewers the opportunity to see for themselves how our earth is changing. Going well beyond the scientific reports, charts and graphs, this film is an inspiration that speaks to our hearts and touches our souls. Spanning 54 countries and 120 locations, all seen from the air, the film captures the Earth’s most amazing landscapes, showcasing its incomparable beauty and acknowledging its vulnerability. HOME is a compelling emotional reminder of what is at stake: the Earth, in all its beauty, and the people who live on it. HOME is the first major film about climate change that has been made using only aerial photography. The film marks artist and activist, Yann Arthus-Betrand’s feature film directorial debut.
World Environment Day (WED) is the principal vehicle of the United Nations for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in more than 100 countries. It also serves as the ‘people’s day’ for doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet. Every Action Counts Whether it is to organize clean-up campaigns, walk-to-work days, plastic purges, art exhibits, tree-planting drives, concerts, dance recitals, switching off the lights, recycling drives, social media campaigns and different contests — every action counts. When multiplied by a global chorus, our individual voices and actions become exponential in their impact. WED 2014: Raise your voice, not the sea level In support of the UN designation of 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), WED this year adopts SIDS in the broader context of climate change as its theme.
The Story of Solutions explores how we can move our economy in a more sustainable and just direction, starting with orienting ourselves toward a new goal. In the current 'Game of More', we're told to cheer a growing economy -- more roads, more malls, more Stuff! -- even though our health indicators are worsening, income inequality is growing and polar icecaps are melting. But what if we changed the point of the game? What if the goal of our economy wasn't more, but better -- better health, better jobs and a better chance to survive on the planet? Shouldn't that be what winning means?
Full Planet, empty plates (Free download of Book) PDF With food scarcity driven by falling water tables, eroding soils, and rising temperatures, control of arable land and water resources is moving to center stage in the global struggle for food security. “In this era of tightening world food supplies, the ability to grow food is fast becoming a new form of geopolitical leverage. Food is the new oil,” Lester R. Brown writes. What will the geopolitics of food look like in a new era dominated by scarcity and food nationalism? Brown outlines the political implications of land acquisitions by grain-importing countries in Africa and elsewhere as well as the world’s shrinking buffers against poor harvests. With wisdom accumulated over decades of tracking agricultural issues, Brown exposes the increasingly volatile food situation the world is facing. With food scarcity driven by falling water tables, eroding soils, and rising temperatures, control of arable land and water resources is moving to center stage in the global struggle for food security. “In this era of tightening world food supplies, the ability to grow food is fast becoming a new form of geopolitical leverage. Food is the new oil,” Lester R. Brown writes. What will the geopolitics of food look like in a new era dominated by scarcity and food nationalism? Brown outlines the political implications of land acquisitions by grain-importing countries in Africa and elsewhere as well as the world’s shrinking buffers against poor harvests. With wisdom accumulated over decades of tracking agricultural issues, Brown exposes the increasingly volatile food situation the world is facing. PRAISE FOR FULL PLANET, EMPTY PLATES Named one of the top 10 books of 2012 by The Globalist. "Full Planet, Empty Plates arrived and I straight away set aside all my other activities in order to enjoy the latest wisdom. He certainly pours out his insights with vigour—and time after time he is bang on target."–Norman Myers "Though heavily packed with statistical information and evidences compiled from the work of hundreds of scientists, this book is an approachable resource for those who are interested in understanding food scarcity, regardless of their educational background."–Maira Niode, Omar Niode Foundation "Each subject is covered in enough detail and with enough supporting evidence to be clear, concise, and convincing. It is the clarity of argument and the brevity that makes this such a valuable book."–John Coulter, Sutainable Population Australia "As with all of Brown’s books, Full Planet, Empty Plates is very well-documented: over 150 data sets accompany the book. Brown fully explains the extent of food challenges in various regions of the globe, and the potential impacts based on environmental and socioeconomic factors in these regions."–Jeff McIntire-Strasburg, Sustainablog "This is a great little book that sums up the global situation, and ties it all together. Best explanation of how everything is interconnected. I wish every American would read this book!!!"–Diane Stewart, environmental activist "Brown presents his compelling arguments in straightforward language, buttressed with numerous facts, statistics and graphs."–Joseph Chamie, former director of the United Nations Population Division One of the top eco-books for the new year according to The Green Insider.
World on the Edge (Free download of Book) PDF We are facing issues of near-overwhelming complexity and unprecedented urgency. Our challenge is to think globally and develop policies to counteract environmental decline and economic collapse. The question is: Can we change direction before we go over the edge? PRAISE FOR WORLD ON THE EDGE "World on the Edge is brilliant. Author Lester Brown is one of humanity's greatest voices for the environment. In this volume, he presents the reader with a clear prescription for restoring sanity to our relationship with the biosphere. Highest recommendation."—Geoffrey Holland, Author, The Hydrogen Age "This is the ultimate survival guide for our species. Lester Brown plots a path around and beyond the looming environmental abyss with courage, compassion and immense wisdom." —Jonathan Watts, Asia Environment Correspondent for The Guardian and author of When A Billion Chinese Jump "No one is better informed than Lester Brown of the multi-faceted crisis facing our planet. And no one has spelt out so clearly how our civilisation could be saved from falling 'over the edge' while there is—hopefully—still just time." —John Rowley, founder/editorwww.peopleandplanet.net "Lester Brown has produced another 'planetary survey' book that tells us how to get off the wrecking train we are on by courtesy of a dozen environmental assaults such as climate change. The better news (and there’s plenty) is that turning problems into opportunities generally puts money into our pockets." —Norman Myers, 21st Century School, University of Oxford "World on Edge details the vice closing around us: a quadruple squeeze of global warming and shortages in food, water and energy. Then it explains the path out—and how little time we have left to take that path. Got anything more important to read than that?" —Peter Goldmark, former head of the Port authority of New York and New Jersey, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, and CEO of the International Herald Tribune "The world is a much more hopeful place because of the work and life of Lester Brown. World on the Edge should be read by everyone who wants to see a better life for their children, which is just about everybody." —Ted Glick, Policy Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network "Brown understands well the precariousness of human civilization ...[and] expresses it in patient and telling detail that addresses the intelligence and humanity of the reader." —Bryan Walker on Celsias.com "[World on the Edge] manages to cover both the grand sweep of global trends and the fine detail of some of the ideas being developed in response.” —Ed Crooks, Financial Times “Reading World on the Edge brings topics ranging from crop failures to state failures together in a way that no series of blog posts could…Brown draws these connections with both scientific rigor and the patience of a committed teacher.” —Jeff McIntire-Strasburg,Sustainablog.org "It is the most interesting book I have ever read and inspires me to do something immediate to save our civilization." —Hanh Lien, translator for the Vietnamese edition ofWorld on the Edge
How do we create a society with local prosperity and justice? How do we prepare for the challenges that climate change and other aspects of the ecological crisis are already bringing? In June 2012 members of what became Steady State Manchester were involved in discussions with Manchester City Council about the idea of a Steady State Economy. While these discussions were open and amicable, we decided that more work was needed to articulate the arguments for Steady State in ways that were appropriate and practical for Manchester. We also wanted to broaden the discussion to include other stake-holders from business (both private and co-operatively run), civil society and academia. This report is a first step in meeting both these aims.
The 2012 edition of the LPR highlights the tremendous pressure that humanity is putting on our planet. We are using 50 per cent more resources than the Earth can provide. By 2030, even two planets will not be enough. Our natural capital is declining and our Ecological Footprint is increasing. Urgent action is needed to ensure that we can live in harmony with nature. 7 billion expectations, one planet: Human population dynamics are a major driving force behind environmental degradation. One aspect of this is the overall size of the global population, which has more than doubled since 1950 - to 7 billion in 2011 and is forecast to reach just over 9.3 billion people by 2050. Rising consumption trends in high-income groups around the world and in BRIICS countries, combined with growing population numbers, provide warning signs of the potential for even larger footprints in the future. We can create more just and equitable societies - providing food, water and energy for all - through the sustainable management of the Earth’s natural capital.
Are you happy? traces the history of new economics past, present and future. It asks the biggest question facing humanity - do good lives have to cost the earth? - and finds that the answer lies in a new type of economics, economics as if people and the planet mattered.
WWF strives for a world in which everyone has a high level of well-being, and we can enjoy healthy and happy lives while using only our fair share of our planet’s resources. WWF defines well-being in accordance with the UN Millennium Ecosystem Approach. Human well-being depends on a number of factors: basic material needs, freedom to engage in meaningful activity, freedom of choice, health, good social relationships and safety. The eradication of poverty is also essential to the objectives of environmental preservation. Improving quality of life and well-being is a way to put a stop to the dwindling of natural resources. Human well-being and the well-being of the environment are closely interdependent. The diversity of nature forms ecosystems that offer ecosystem services. These include nutrient cycling, soil formation, climate regulation and the production of natural resources such as food, potable water and raw materials.Ecosystem services also comprise cultural services such as beauty, spirituality and free time. Together they make life on our planet possible.