The PelicanWeb's Journal of Sustainable Development

Research Digest on Integral Human Development,
Solidarity, Sustainability, and Related Global Issues

Vol. 6, No. 4, April 2010
Luis T. Gutierrez, Editor

Home Page


Directory of Sustainable Development Resources
April 2010 Update


Even though the number of sustainability initiatives keeps increasing increasingly, it is difficult to overcome resistance to change. Emerging evidence that the transition from an exploding world to a sustainable world will require significant cultural adaptation reinforces even more the natural human tendency to avoid facing the music. Thus there is a need for a "quick reference guide" to key web sites and online data sources in order to enable researchers and advocates to navigate the web and find the chunks of knowledge they need for their own work and to share with others.

To be useful, such a "quick reference guide" must be multi-disciplinary, up to date, and generally free of broken links. The directory of links proposed below is a carefully filtered selection of key references and data sources for sustainable development, with emphasis on the human side of the issues. Granted that technological advances are indispensable to support the transition to sustainability, they may not be sufficient. The "consumerist" mode of human behavior may have to change. Mitigation of population and consumption growth can buy time, but cultural adaptations may be required.

People are generally more willing to change behavior by the expectation of gain than by the expectation of loss. The propensity to resist behavioral change incrreases when the risk of attaining gains is high and/or the risk of suffering loses is low. Therefore, the most useful evidence to foster sustainable behavior is that which shows that there is much to gained with low risk. In this context, the selection of items for this directory favors those that provide evidence of what is to be gained. The directory is being annotated as time permits and includes links to relevant research and data resources under the following categories:

1. Population and Human Development
2. Cultural, Social, and Security Issues
3. Financial, Economic, and Political Issues
4. Ecological Resources and Ecosystem Services
5. Renewable and Nonrenewable Energy Sources
6. Pollution, Climate Change, and Environmental Management
7. Land, Agriculture, Food Supply, and Water Supply
8. Current Outlook for the Planet and Human Civilization
9. Transition from Consumerism to Sustainability

It is hoped that this directory will be useful -- at least as a "first stop" -- for the subscribers as well as students, researchers, and the general public. The directory is an ordered list (9 sections, 45 subsections) of links to content-rich web sites. Each subsection includes a list of links to selected references and data sources, links to relevant Wikipedia articles, and a brief commentary. Readers who notice any error of commission or omission, or have any questions or concerns, please contact the editor.

NOTE: Items marked with a red dot (reddot) have been added/updated since the directory was first published in January 2010.


1. Population and Human Development

1.1 Humanity and Human Behavior
1.2 Population Growth and Human Sexuality
1.3 The "Limits to Growth" Project (Donella & Dennis Meadows)
1.4 Sustainability and Integral Human Development
1.5 Education for Sustainable Development
2. Cultural, Social, and Security Issues
2.1 Peace, Human Rights, and Human Security
2.2 Addictions to Money, Power, and Honors
2.3 Consumerism and the Sustainable Development Paradox
2.4 The Phallic Syndrome and Gender Equality
2.5 The UN "Millennium Development Goals"
3. Financial, Economic, and Political Issues
3.1 The Current Financial and Economic Crisis
3.2 The Widening Gap between Rich and Poor
3.3 Capitalism, Socialism, and the Need for a New Synthesis
3.4 Reformation of Dictatorial Systems (Secular and Religious)
3.5 Reformation of Democratic Systems (Some Possibilities)
4. Ecological Resources and Ecosystem Services
4.1 The Human Habitat
4.2 Biomass and Biodiversity
4.3 Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services
4.4 Ecosystem Use, Abuse, and Potential Recovery
4.5 The Great Biomes of Planet Earth
5. Renewable and Nonrenewable Energy Sources
5.1 Fossil Fuels -- Coal, Oil, Natural Gas
5.2 "Peak Oil" (Hubbert's Curve)
5.3 Renewable Energy Sources -- Wind, Waves, Water, Solar
5.4 Ecological Footprint and Carbon Footprint
5.5 Transition from Nonrenewable to Renewable (and Clean) Energy Sources
6. Pollution, Climate Change, and Environmental Management
6.1 Air Pollution, Water Pollution, and Solid Waste
6.2 "Resources Flow from the Poor to the Rich" (Vandana Shiva)
6.3 "Pollution Flows from the Rich to the Poor" (Vandana Shiva)
6.4 Environmental Management and the Kyoto-Copenhagen Process
6.5 Potential Repercussions of Global Warming and Climate Change
7. Land, Agriculture, Food Supply, and Water Supply
7.1 Land Use and Arable Land
7.2 Rural Development and Sustainable Urbanization
7.3 Agricultural Best Practices
7.4 Food Supply and Food Availability
7.5 Water Supply and Water Availability
8. Current Outlook for the Planet and Human Civilization
8.1 Outlook for the World's Population
8.2 Outlook for the World's Men & Women
8.3 Outlook for the World's Boys & Girls
8.4 Outlook for the World's Biosphere
8.5 General Outlook for the World's Future
9. Transition from Consumerism to Sustainability
9.1 Global Issues Require Global Solutions
9.2 Systems Theory and Simulation Modeling
9.3 Management of Global, National, and Local Issues
9.4 The Role of Global, National, and Local Institutions
9.5 The Role of Individual Global Citizens

1. Population and Human Development

1.1 Humanity and Human Behavior

"God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them."
Genesis 1:27

Humanity and Judaism, Judaism 101, 2001
Humanity and Christianity, NWE, 2008.
Description of Homo sapiens, EOL, 2009.
Understanding Human Behavior, ThinkQuest, 2009.
Human Evolution, Ecotao, 2009.
Humanity and Islam, IRFI, 1988-2009.
reddot Millennium Assessment of Human Behavior, MAHB, Stanford University, 2009.
reddot CASE EXAMPLE: Truth and Consequences on the Last Frontier, Rick Steiner, Univ Alaska, 2010.

Wikipedia -- Homo sapiens sapiens, Human Nature, and Human Behavior

Commentary -- Human evolution is not expected to go beyond Homo sapiens sapiens in the foreseeable future. However, Homo sapiens sapiens can and must outgrow the Homo economicus phase and become Homo solidarius. In the terminology of the Christian tradition, it is hard to imagine Homo sapiens sapiens becoming Homo eucharisticus any time soon, but the transition from competition to solidarity is feasible and must be attained. Else, according to the evidence to be listed below, the future of humanity is grim.

1.2 Population Growth and Human Sexuality

"So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife,
and the two will become one body."
Genesis 2:24

World Population Data Sheet, PRB, 2009.
State of the World Population, UNFPA, 2009.
World Population 1950-2050, USCB-IDB, 2009.
World Population 2300, UN Population Division, 2009.
International Encyclopedia on Sexuality, Continuum, 1997, 2001.

Wikipedia -- World Population and Human Sexuality

Commentary -- The exponential pattern of population growth experienced during the 1900s appears to be slowing down a bit, albeit not uniformly in all regions of the world. Significantly, the rich and better educated people are having fewer children but the poor and mostly uneducated people still seek security in numbers. Moralistic pontifications notwithstanding, experience confirms that "the bed is the consolation of the poor" and will continue to be so until distributive justice and/or mother nature close the rich/poor gap (48% of the world population live with less that 2 dollars/day).

1.3 The "Limits to Growth" Project (Donella & Dennis Meadows)

"There is something fundamentally wrong with treating the earth
as if it were a business in liquidation."
Herman Daly

The Limits To Growth, Meadows & Meadows, MIT, 1972
Beyond the Limits To Growth, Meadows & Meadows, MIT, 1992
Limits To Growth: The 30-Year Update, Meadows & Meadows, SI, 2004.
Synopsis of Limits to Growth: The 30 Year Update, Meadows & Meadows, SI, 2004.
Learning Environment - Limits to Growth, CD-ROM, Meadows & Meadows, SI, 2004.
The Limits to Growth vs. 30 Years of Reality, Turner, CSIRO, Australia, 2008.
Revisiting the Limits to Growth After Peak Oil, Hall & Day, American Scientist, 2009.

Wikipedia -- The Limits To Growth, Donella Meadows, Dennis Meadows.

Commentary -- The bottom line is that unlimited growth (demographic and/or economic) in a finite world is a mathematical impossibility. However, only material growth has been considered in the "Limits to Growth" project. Thankfully, there are no limits to wisdom and the inner life. But it is hard to imagine people seeking to undertake the "inner journey" when they are either drowning in extravagant consumption or barely surviving in extreme poverty.

1.4 Sustainability and Integral Human Development

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".

Brundtland Report, WCED-OCF, UN, 1987

Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future (the "Brundtland Report"), UN, 1987.
Human Development Reports (HDRs) and HDR Statistics, UN, 1999-2009
HDR 1990 - Concept and Measurement of human development
HDR 1991 - Financing Human Development
HDR 1992 - Global Dimensions of Human Development
HDR 1993 - People's Participation
HDR 1994 - New dimensions of human security
HDR 1995 - Gender and human development
HDR 1996 - Economic growth and human development
HDR 1997 - Human Development to Eradicate Poverty
HDR 1998 - Consumption for Human Development
HDR 1999 - Globalization with a Human Face
HDR 2000 - Human rights and human development
HDR 2001 - Making new technologies work for human development
HDR 2002 - Deepening democracy in a fragmented world
HDR 2003 - Millennium Development Goals
HDR 2004 - Cultural Liberty in Today's Diverse World
HDR 2005 - International cooperation at a crossroads
HDR 2006 - Power, poverty and the global water crisis
HDR 2007/2008 - Human solidarity in a divided world
HDR 2009 - Human mobility and development
reddot HDR 2010 - Rethinking Human Development
Earth Charter Initiative and Annual Reports, 2008
Integral Human Development, CRS, 2008.
Integral Sustainable Development - Part 1, Barrett Brown, Integral Institute, 2007.
Integral Sustainable Development - Part 2, Barrett Brown, Integral Institute, 2007.
The Role of Women in Integral Sustainable Development, Nicanor Perlas, CAPWIP, 2008.
Sustainability at the National Academies, NAS, 2008.
Sustainability Programs, Resources, and Data, US EPA, 2009.
Sustainability Institute - Programs & Resources, SI, 2004.

Wikipedia -- Sustainability, Sustainable Development, UN Human Development Index

Commentary -- There are many definitions of sustainability. None has been able to improve on the original definition of the Brundtland Commission, quoted above. It is a human-centric definition. Human development is the core element of sustainable development. The 1990-2009 Human Development Reports listed above are the best synopsis of knowledge and data available to researchers who recognize that Homo economicus is the root cause of the uncertain future facing humanity.

1.5 Education for Sustainable Development

"Trust one who has tried it, you will find more in woods than in books;
trees and stones will teach you what you can never learn from masters."

Saint Bernard de Clairvaux

UNESCO Education for Sustainable Development (ESD):
ESD 1. Gender Equality
ESD 2. Health Promotion
ESD 3. Environmental Stewardship
ESD 4. Rural Development
ESD 5. Cultural Diversity
ESD 6. Peace and Human Security
ESD 7. Sustainable Urbanization
ESD 8. Sustainable Consumption
A Blueprint for Survival, The Ecologist, 1972
Global Sustainable Development: A Challenge for Consumer Citizens, CDVEC Ireland and IFHE Germany, 2008.
Facing the Future, K-12 educational materials and data.
Education for Climate Change and ESD, Prahalad, 2009.

For more ESD references, data, and tools, see the PelicanWeb ESD Links.

Wikipedia -- Education for Sustainable Development, Sustainable Development, UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

WORDLE word collage based on 1004 responses to a survey on ESD requirements conducted from April to August, 2009. The size of each word is proportional to the frequency of ocurrence in the responses. To see a larger image of the collage, click here. For more on this survey, and links to the survey forms and analysis reports, click here and here.

Commentary -- The collage of words shown above would seem to indicate that "education for rural development" is the most crucial requirement of education for sustainable development. This is significant in that rural development is tightly coupled to the sustainability of ecosystem services (see section 4.3). Among other requirements frequently mentioned by the survey respondents are education on health, natural resources, and the environment. Both "human" and "people" show up with prominence, suggesting the importance of the human/social dimension. This includes human behavior ("consumption") and the need to avoid global generalizations that ignore local issues and cultures ("areas"). It is noteworthy that "gender" shows up with less prominence. A reluctance to deal with gender issues is not really surprising, given the continued influence of cultural and religious taboos on matters of human sexuality. Could this also be the reason for "population" and "sex" to be barely visible in the collage?

2. Cultural, Social, and Security Issues

2.1 Peace, Human Rights, and Human Security

"The struggle with evil by means of violence is the same
as an attempt to stop a cloud, in order that there may be no rain."

Leo Tolstoy

Collisions of Religion and Violence, CrossCurrents, 2001.
Human Security for an Urban Century, HS-Cities, 2001.
Human Security and Digital Library of Human Security, UN CHS, 2007.
Girardian Reflections on the Lectionary: Understanding the Bible Anew Through the Mimetic Theory of René Girard, Paul Nuechterlein, 2008.
Global Human Security, World Connectors, 2008.
Human Security, Human Security Report, Data Sources, and Search Gateway, HRSGROUP, 2005-2009.
Colloquium On Violence & Religion (COV&R), UIBK, Austria, 2009.
reddot Directory of Resources for Human Rights Education, UN OHCHR, 2010.
reddot Power, Voice and Rights: A Turning Point for Gender Equality in Asia and the Pacific, UNDP Asia-Pacific Human Development Report, February 2010.

Wikipedia -- Peace, Social Solidarity, Terrorism, Religious Violence, and Human Security

Commentary -- Most incidents of violence can be traced back to money and/or religion. Secular violence is most often triggered by financial stress. Religious violence is usually triggered by fundamentalist (fanatical) deformations of religion. In both the secular and religious spheres, the victims are usually scapegoats. There is a saying, "if you want peace, work for justice." Scapegoating is the most common mechanism to rationalize injustice and violence. It generally entails targeting the weakest member(s) of a community to atone for the guilt of crooks who control wealth, power, and honors.

2.2 Addictions to Money, Power, and Honors

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." Matthew 6:18-20

Money can be counted, and there is no shortage of numerical data about money and economic wealth. Not so with regard to issues of power, control, domination, and various kinds of honors. For these we must rely on the "data of history," which is mostly in narrative form. But these "data of history" are crucial for sustainable development, and therefore a few examples are included below as "data."

Managerial Strategies of Domination. Power in Soft Bureaucracies, David Courpasson, Organization Studies, 2000.
Conquest, Domination and Control: Europe’s Mastery of Nature in Historic Perspective, Philipp Pattberg, JPE, 2007.
History of Power: Religion, Reason, Domination and Social Control, Marta Nunes da Costa, IJH, 2008.
Fragments and Fragments of Power, James Van Hise, 2010.
Research on the World Distribution of Household Wealth, UNU-WIDER, 2010.
Distribution of income and consumption; wealth and poverty, UN Statistics Division, 2010.

Wikipedia -- Wealth, Distribution of Wealth, Dictatorship, Absolute Monarchy, Theocracy, Democracy

Commentary -- As Lord Acton once wrote, "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." The ubiquity of such corruption is evident in both secular and religious institutions. According to St. Ignatius Loyola, "money leads to seeking power, power leads to seeking honors and, from these, all forms of human corruption are derived." Indeed, money is the root cause of most cases of corruption in human affairs. When something smells fishy, follow the money trail. There is a saying, "money talks." This is true even when money has been "cooked" or "invented" (as with the so-called "derivatives" that precipitated the current financial crisis). But, thankfully, money can be traced and can be counted! Thus the importance of counting and handling money in ways that support sustainable development, while always trying to keep in check practices that actually feed corruption and thus become obstacles to human and social development. The following graphics are very instructive:

Research and graphics by Noah Grant on Just the Facts for Sustainable Happiness, the Winter 2009 issue of YES! Magazine.

Research and graphics by Noah Grant on Just the Facts for Sustainable Happiness, the Winter 2009 issue of YES! Magazine.

2.3 Consumerism and the Sustainable Development Paradox

"Our enormously productive economy… demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption… We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced, and discarded at an ever increasing rate." Victor Lebow, 1955

reddot The Ecocosm Paradox, Diagram, and Article, Fey & Lam, EDL, 1999

  • If human consumption growth continues, the planetary life support system will be disabled and humanity will itself become endangered.
  • If consumption growth is stopped, the viability of the world's economic and financial systems will be threatened, and the stability of governments and society will deteriorate.
This is possibly the best conceptualization of the
sustainable development paradox:
Diagram by Willard R. Fey and Ann C. W. Lam,
Ecocosm Dynamics Ltd

Sustainable Consumption: Why Consumption Matters, Dave Tilford, Sierra Club, 2000.
reddot State of the World 2004: The Consumer Society, Worldwatch Institute, 2004.
The Ecological Footprint, The Footprint of Nations and Footprint Data Tables, 2005-2006.
Genuine Progress Index (GPI) - Concept and Graph, Redefining Progress, 2006.
Genuine Progress Index (GPI) - Formulation and Data, Redefining Progress, 2006.
Consumption and Consumerism, Global Issues, 2008.
Sustainable Consumption: Facts and Trends, WBCSD, 2008.
GDP per capita, consumption per capita and comparative price levels in Europe, EuroStat, 2008.
North American Sustainable Consumption and Production Database, NASCA, 2009.
The sustainable development paradox: urban political economy in the United States and Europe, Cristina Temenos, JEG, 2009.
9 Ways to Visualize Consumer Spending, FlowingData, 2009.
reddot State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures from Consumerism to Sustainability, Worldwatch Institute, 2010.

Wikipedia -- Consumption, Consumerism, Conspicuous Consumption, Consumer Capitalism, and Ecological Footprint

Commentary -- The "ecocosm paradox" (or "sustainable development paradox") is difficult to quantify empirically but not difficult to understand logically. As in the "Limits to Growth" analysis (section 1.3 of this directory), unlimited growth in producing and consuming material goods is unfeasible because the human habitat is not unlimited. The "Ecological Footprint (EFP)" is a good method to understand the concept numerically. Another numerical method worthy of consideration is the "Genuine Progress Index (GPI)." Fey and Lam (1999) provide an excellent visualization of the sustainable development paradox. The concept is also amenable to computer simulation. See some examples in section 9.2 of this directory.

2.4 The Phallic Syndrome and Gender Equality

Note: The term "phallic syndrome" refers to a disordered preference for the masculine. In Spanish, "machismo."

"Sacram ordinationem valide recipit solus vir baptizatus."
"Only a baptized male validly receives sacred ordination."

Canon 1024, Code of Canon Law, Roman Catholic Church

"In most religions and founding myths, including traditional beliefs of many ethnic groups in Africa, Oceania, Asia and America, religious or priestly functions are a male preserve.... No religion is spared in this regard, including monotheistic religions."
Study on Freedom of Religion & Women, UN, 24 April 2009.

"We believe that the justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a higher authority, is unacceptable."
Equality for Women & Girls, The Elders, 2 July 2009.

Religion and Gender, Sandra Cullen, Veritas, 2005.
Because I am a Girl: The Outlook for the World's girls 2007, Plan International, 2007.
Because I am a Girl: The Outlook for the World's girls 2008, Plan International, 2008.
Because I am a Girl: The Outlook for the World's girls 2009, Plan International, 2009.
Gender Equality - Statistics, UNICEF, 2007.
Millennium Development Goal #3: Gender Equity, UN, 2008.
Gender Equality: An End in Itself and a Cornerstone of Development, UNFPA, 2008.
reddot Woman as "Other" in Monotheistic Religious Discourse, Zilka Spahic-Šiljak, Puls demokratije, 16 January 2008.
Women and Development, UNDP, 2009.
Empowering Women as Key Change Agents, The Hunger Project, 2009.
Women's Environment and Development Organization, UNIFEM/WEDO, 2009.
United Nations Internet Gateway on Gender Equality, UN WomenWatch, 1997-2009.
Gender Equality - European Union, EU, 2009.
Cultural and Religious Discrimination, The Elders, 2009.
Gender Equality as Smart Economics, World Bank, 2009.
Women, Gender, and Religion - Patriarchal Seductions of Nature and Virtue, Dilly, Kalef & Simkins, JRS, 2009.
Justice and Solutions for All through Gender and Diversity - Part 1, World Connectors, 2009.
Justice and Solutions for All through Gender and Diversity - Part 2, World Connectors, 2009.
reddot Study on freedom of religion or belief and the status of women in the light of religion and traditions, UN ECOSOC, 2009.
reddot Gender Equity Index (GEI), Social Watch, 2009.
reddot Religious and traditional practices discriminate against women and girls, The Elders, 2009.
The OneWorld Guide to Gender Equality, One World, UK, 2010.
Christians for Biblical Equality, CBE, 2010.
Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, CBMW, 2010.
Case example: The Papal No, by Deborah Halter, Crossroad, 2004.
Case example: Progress on the march to gender equality, Montreal Gazette, 2009.
Case Example: Beheading and Religious profiling, Aloysious Mowe SJ, CGN, 2009.
Case Example: Complex forces behind the veil, Aloysious Mowe SJ, CGN, 2009.
reddot Case Example: We must face religion's role in oppressing women, Elizabeth Payne, Ottawa, January 2010.

Wikipedia -- Misogyny, Feminism, Gender Equality, Anima and Animus, Women in Judaism, Women in Christianity, Ordination of Women, Women in Islam, Women in Hinduism, Women in Buddhism

Commentary -- Gender equality is a sign of the times. The "phallic syndrome" (a disordered preference for the masculine) still prevails in most cultures and human institutions, both secular and religious. In the social sphere, the first and second waves of feminism have run their course, and hopefully the third wave is not far away. Some progress has been made in the secular sphere, albeit not uniformly throughout the world. In the religious sphere, it is lamentable that most religious traditions persist in an inordinate attachment to either radical or condescending misogyny. For a carefully documented case, see The Papal No by Deborah Halter, Crossroad, 2004. The publication of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (Vatican, 1994) reiterating the theologically baseless refusal to ordain women was a sad example of condescending but vitriolic misogyny, complete with smoke screens of "papal infallibility" and a subsequent ban on further discussion of the issue. To add insult to injury, they use the Lord Jesus Christ as scapegoat. The damage done to human development is incalculable. Several issues of this journal have included material on this religious malignancy. From the perspective of sustainable development, clericalism is as harmful as consumerism.

2.5 The UN "Millennium Development Goals"

"The diligent farmer plants trees, of which he himself will never see the fruit."

UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
MDG 1. End Poverty & Hunger
MDG 2. Universal Education
MDG 3. Promote Gender Equality
MDG 4. Improve Child Health
MDG 5. Improve Maternal Health
MDG 6. Combat HIV/AIDS
MDG 7. Environmental Sustainability
MDG 8. Global Partnership for Development
MDG Indicators & Data, UN, Statistics Division, 2009.
MDG Progress Report, UN MDG, 2009.
MDG Progress Chart, UN MDG, 2009.
MDGInfo and MDG Data Wizard, DevInfo, 2009.
reddot Poverty in Focus - The MDGs and beyond: Pro-Poor Policy in a Changing World, IPC-IG/UNDP, Brasilia, January 2010.

For more MDG references, data, and tools, see the PelicanWeb MDG Links.

Wikipedia -- UN Millennium Development Goals.

Commentary -- In light of MDG7, MDG8 should be understood as "Global Partnership for Sustainable Development." As the recent meeting at Copenhagen confirmed once more, such partnership has yet to materialize. After 191 nations agreed on these goals in 2000, little progress has been made on MDGs 1 to 7 even though billions have been spent. At this time, it is hard to see how any of the global targets set for 2015 could be achieved. Spending more billions would be an exercise in futility; more financial aid is not the solution. Some financial support is necessary, but not sufficient. MDG7 and MDG8 must go together -- building on MDG3. A radical triad of cultural shifts is required: from exclusion to inclusion, from domination to solidarity, from consumerism to sustainability. This is the only path toward resolving the "sustainable development paradox."

3. Financial, Economic, and Political Issues

3.1 The Current Financial and Economic Crisis

"It is not life and wealth and power that enslave men,
but the cleaving to life and wealth and power."


Facts and Myths about the Financial Crisis of 2008, US FRB, 2008.
The Financial Crisis: Implications for Developing Countries, WB, 2008.
Sustainable Consumption: Facts and Trends, World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), 2008.
The Financial Crisis and Its Impact on Developing Countries, UNDP, 2009.
Financial Stress, Downturns, and Recoveries, WEO, IMF, 2008.
IMF Data Mapper, IMF, 2009
World Economic Outlook Databases, WEO, IMF, 2009
World Economic Outlook Reports, WEO, IMF, 2009
The Global Financial Crisis, ODI, UK, 2009.
27 Visualizations and Infographics to Understand the Financial Crisis, FlowingData, 2009.
Global Economic Crisis and the Informal Economy, WIEGO, 2009.
Financial Systems, World Connectors, 2009.
reddot Database of International Business Statistics (DIBS), GlobalEdge, 2001-2010.

Business Opportunities in Sustainable Development

reddot Sustainability and Business: A Narrative and Annotated Links Directory, Erwin Dreessen, NCF, Canada, 2010.
reddot New Green Transition Scoreboard Finds Over $1 Trillion Invested in Green since 2007, Ethical Markets, 2010.
reddot Statistical Data Sources for International Business Research, GlobalEdge, 2010.
reddot World Business Academy, WBA, 2010.
reddot Business Responds to Climate Change, Carol A. Seagle, UNC Kenan-Flagler, Winter 2010.
reddot Vision 2050: The New Agenda for Business, WBCSD, February 2010.

Wikipedia -- Global Financial Crisis of 2007–2010.

Quotation -- "The current financial crisis, which began in the United States, then spread to Europe, has now become global. The crisis itself stems, mainly, from poorly regulated financial markets in rich countries, which allowed risky and complex financial products to develop, skewing financial flows and creating unsustainable global imbalances. With world trade plummeting and industrial production falling drastically, the economic crisis has affected developing countries through declining trade, private financial flows and remittances." Financial Systems, World Connectors, 2009.

Commentary -- There are many versions of how the current financial and economic crisis came about. There is a lot of finger pointing going around. But "what goes around comes around" and it would be wise to stop pointing fingers and start seeking the etiology of the disease. Forget about derivatives and other financial manipulations. The root cause of the crisis is human greed, manifested as an insatiable appetite for money and wealth accumulation. This inevitably translates into power struggles, corruption in governance, and lack of political will to put in place effective checks and balances in the financial sector. And isn't it amazing how much money can be manufactured -- and given away -- to preserve the status quo? But manufacturing more money is an exercise in futility; with few exceptions, the trillions will never trickle down to the working class, let alone the poor.

3.2 The Widening Gap between Rich and Poor

"Neither great poverty nor great riches will hear reason."
Henry Fielding

  • 48% of the world population live with less that 2 dollars/day
  • 2% of adults in the world own more than 50% of global household wealth
  • 25,000 children die daily of hunger and malnutrition

  • Inequalities in Development - Lorenz Curve and Gini Coefficient, GCAD, UK, 1993.
    World Distribution of Household Wealth Report, UNU-WIDER, 2006.
    The Gap Between and Poor (graphs), Freedom Keys, 2006
    Rich-Poor Gap Widens, Paul Campos, RMI, 2006.
    How Consumers Around the World Spend Their Money, FlowingData, 2008.
    Widening Gap Between Rich and Poor (in the USA), Univ Dayton, 2008.
    Islamic Relief Worldwide and In Depth Analysis, Islamic Relief, 2009.
    United Nations Millennium Campaign, UN, 2009.
    Poverty Reduction, UNDP, 2009.
    Trade Statistics and Research Reports, WTO, 2009.

    Wikipedia -- Poverty, Distribution of Wealth, World Distribution of Wealth, Gross World Product (GWP), and World Economy

    Commentary -- The global financial crisis may actually widen the rich-poor gap even more. Survival may drive people living in misery to abuse the human habitat in the future even more than in the past. Mother nature is mercifully resilient, but eventually there may emerge increasingly increasing cases of "Gaia's revenge." Poor people are bound to suffer the most, but eventually even rich people might be affected financially and, if this happens, the developed nations and the multi-national corporations might be tempted to use the developing nations as scapegoats. Those who are now forcing people in N.E. Brazil to destroy the Amazon rain forest, and people in sub-Saharan Africa to cut trees and sell the wood in order to survive, will then ask -- who told them to destroy their own resources? And when resources stop flowing from the poor to the rich, the developed economies might have to resort to using more coal and generating more pollution in order to "survive," thus triggering more garbage to flow from the rich to the poor who, lacking sanitation, will become both sicker and poorer -- and the rich-poor gap will widen even more. Not a very attractive scenario, is it?

    3.3 Capitalism, Socialism, and the Need for a New Synthesis

    "They were so strong in their beliefs that there came a time when it hardly mattered what exactly those beliefs were; they all fused into a single stubbornness." Louise Erdrich

    Socioeconomic Democracy, Robley George, CSDS, 2002.
    Socioeconomic Democracy: A Democratic Basic Income Guarantee, Robley George, CSDS, 2005.
    Socioeconomic Democracy and Energy, Robley George, CSDS, 2007.
    Democratic Socioeconomic Platform, Robley George, CSDS, 2008.
    Basic Income Earth Network, BIEN, 2008.
    Integral Democracy, Mario Bunge, ZNet, 2009.
    Sustainable Democracy, Chris Schaffer, 2009.

    Wikipedia -- Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, Dictatorship, Democracy, Republican Democracy, Parliamentary Democracy, Christian Democracy, Social Democracy, Democratic Socialism, Participatory Democracy, Basic Income, Guaranteed Minimum Income, The Third Way (Centrism).

    Commentary -- Communism is dead. Liberal capitalism is dead. Socialism is moribund. Democracy is alive and well, but democratic systems need improvement if visibly forthcoming challenges (such as the "sustainable development paradox") are to be handled fairly. There is a need for a new democratic synthesis adaptable to all levels of governance (local, national, global) but none of the possibilities listed above seems to be converging in the foreseeable future. It may take a long evolution for a new synthesis to emerge that is improves socioeconomic justice and is politically feasible. During this evolutionary process, we all need to keep "muddling through" together, one step at a time but also acting locally, thinking globally, and thinking long-term. The mud is what keeps us together at the moment. Let us be thankful for the mud, and forge ahead together.

    3.4 Reformation of Dictatorial Systems (Secular and Religious)

    "Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power."
    Eric Hoffer

    Note: This is a difficult section. There is a lot of data on both secular and religious dictatorial systems. But it is very confusing because, while in some countries there is separation of church and state (thus a secular democracy must coexist with a dictatorial religious hierarchy, e.g., Italy) in other countries secular and religious governance are conflated, with secular authorities subservient to religious authorities (e.g., Islamic theocracies such as Iran). From a sustainable development perspective, the most useful data are in the form of maps that show democratic versus dictatorial governments by country, dominant religion by country, and other factors such as the geography of poverty and literacy. Juxtaposition of these maps exposes a high correlation between dictatorial governance (secular and/or religious) and the prevalence of factors such as poverty, illiteracy and, of course, gender inequality. Granted that correlation should not be confused with causation, the correlations are overwhelming.

    World Poverty Map, Scribd, 2002.
    Map of Religious Wars, Maps of War, 2006.
    World Geography of Poverty, IndexMundi, 2009.
    World Poverty Interactive Map, World Concern, 2009.
    World Religion Map, Maps of the World, 1999-2009.
    World Population Density Map, Maps of the World, 1999-2009.
    World Illiteracy Map, Maps of the World, 1999-2009.
    Faith, Gender, and Development, Berkley Center, Georgetown University, May 2008.
    Colloquium On Violence & Religion (COV&R), UIBK, Austria, 2009.
    Religion and Nature, ISSRNC, 2009.

    Wikipedia -- Geography of Religions, Dictatorship and Theocracy

    Commentary -- The number dictatorships has decreased in recent decades, but some remain (e.g., Burma). Dictatorial systems are discredited forever. But forever is a long time and people have a tendency to forget the lessons of history, so continued vigilance is in order. A few religious dictatorships (usually disguised as theocracies or absolute monarchies by divine will) remain a significant obstacle to sustainable development, and they do have enormous influence over the faithful. Among other things, they persist in imposing the "phallic syndrome" as God's will for humankind. There is no solution in sight for this calamity, but let us keep praying and working while avoiding false hopes about anything happening quickly. God is patient and merciful, and acts like a "gentle breeze" (1 Kings 19). Let us pray especially for those who presume to have cable internet connection to heaven. Ignoring their pontifications when they are irrational or self-serving, and withdrawing financial contributions, is the best antidote to their delusions of communion with the divine. Concurrently, let us support and encourage those religious institutions that practice inclusiveness and have participatory forms of governance with check and balances proper to their religious traditions (for Christians, an excellent model is found in Acts 15).

    3.5 Reformation of Democratic Systems (Some Possibilities)

    "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
    Lord Acton

    Dictatorship (of any kind) is not an option. This section is about the principles and practices that appear to be most promising for the improvement or reformation of democratic systems.

    A Theory of Human Motivation, Abraham Maslow, Psy Rev, 1943
    The Human Use Of Human Beings: Cybernetics And Society, Norbert Wiener, MIT, Houghton, 1954.
    The Science of "Muddling Through", Charles Lindblom, Yale, PAR, 1959.
    Principles of Systems, Jay Forrester, MIT, Pegasus, 1968.
    Counterintuitive Behavior of Social Systems, Jay Forrester, MIT, Tech Review, 1971.
    Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle, SEHN, 1998.
    Socioeconomic Democracy, Robley George, CSDS, 2002.
    Sociopolitical Subsidiarity, Thomas Behr, Acton, 2003, based on the work of Luigi Taparelli D’Azeglio, SJ (1793–1862)
    Solidarity Economics, Ethan Miller, GEO, 2005.
    Solidarist Economics, Jim Wishloff, Entrepreneur, 2006, based on the work of Heinrich Pesch, SJ (1854-1926)
    The Principle of Subsidiarity, David Bonisch, Acton, 2009.

    Wikipedia -- Social Solidarity, Economic Solidarity, Sociopolitical Subsidiarity, Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances, Precautionary Principle, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

    Commentary -- Once a mindset of solidarity and sustainability solidifies, subsidiarity becomes the name of the game. The principle of subsidiarity basically states that decisions should be taken at the lowest possible level consistent with the common good of the entire human community. In other words, either too much centralization, or too much decentralization, is bad. In terms of local, national, and global governance, applying the principle of subsidiarity would require putting in place checks and balances among local governments, between local governments and national governments, among national governments, and between national governments and some form of global government. The constitution of the European Union explicitly includes an article of adherence to the principle of subsidiarity. The American constitution, while not including the term "subsidiarity" explicitly, conforms to it by prescribing separation of powers, and checks and balances, between country governments, state governments, and the federal government. But the trick is to translate the theory into practice, i.e., effective checks and balances must be implemented at each level and between levels. It is just a matter of keeping everybody honest. Easier said than done? Indeed, but no democracy is as yet perfect, and none is exonerated from the process of continuing improvement.

    Conjecture -- This might be the mix of ingredients required for a democratic reformation:
  • Sustainable Development, WCED-OCF, UN, 1987.
  • Socioeconomic Democracy, Robley George, CSDS, 2002.
  • Education for Human Development (ESD), UNESCO, 2005.
  • Economic Solidarity, Ethan Miller, GEO, 2005.
  • Integral Human Development (IHD), CRS, 2007.
  • Political Subsidiarity, David Bonisch, Acton, 2009.


    4. Ecological Resources and Ecosystem Services

    4.1 The Human Habitat

    "God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."
    Genesis 2:15

    Silent Spring, Rachel Carson, 1962, and The Legacy of Rachel Carson.
    The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth, Kenneth Boulding, 1966.
    Ecological Resource Data, US EPA, 2007.
    Human Ecology Resources, SHE, 2007.
    Humanity's Ecological Footprint, WWF, 2008.
    Environmental Sensitivity Index Mapping, US NOAA, 2008.
    Prosperity without Growth?, SDC-UK, 2009.
    Ecological Economics, Brian Czech, EOLSS, 2009.
    reddot Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity, Johan Rockström et al, SEI, Sweden, 2009 [PDF].

    Wikipedia -- Biosphere, Geosphere, Atmosphere, Gaia Hypothesis, Human Habitat, Human Ecology, Sustainable Habitat, Spaceship Earth, Natural Resource Management, Habitat Conservation, Habitat Fragmentation, Ecological Economics

    Commentary -- "Economic growth is simply an increase in the production and consumption of goods and services. Economic growth has provided many benefits over time, but now it is causing more problems - dire problems - than it solves. Slowly but surely, economic growth has become a primary threat to the environment, national security, international stability, and future generations. Yet it remains the highest priority in the domestic policy arena of the United States and most other nations. Citizens, especially students, are continually told that there is no limit to growth, in defiance of ecological principles and basic physics. To refute the misleading rhetoric that there is no conflict between economic growth and environmental protection - as well as economic sustainability - CASSE provides information on the downsides of growth with an emphasis on ecological concepts." Brian Czech, 2009.

    4.2 Biomass and Biodiversity

    "2010: United Nations International Year of Biodiversity"

    "A diverse ecosystem will also be resilient, because it contains many species with overlapping ecological functions that can partially replace one another. When a particular species is destroyed by a severe disturbance so that a link in the network is broken, a diverse community will be able to survive and reorganize itself... In other words, the more complex the network is, and the more complex its pattern of interconnections, the more resilient it will be". Fritjof Capra

    Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-2), UNEP-WCMC, 2006.
    Nonrenewable renewables: The hidden life of biofuels, Kurt Cobb, Energy Bulletin, 2006.
    Climate Change and Biodiversity, UNEP, 2007.
    Bioenergy Feedstock Information Network (BFIN), US ORNL, 2008.
    2010 and Beyond: Rising to the biodiversity challenge, GFN, 2008.
    Biomass Resource Maps, US NREL, 2009.
    Why Is Biodiversity Important? Who Cares?, Anup Shah, Global Issues, 2009.
    World Conservation Monitoring Centre, UNEP-WCMC, 2009.
    Biodiversity Indicators and Biodiversity Indicators Partnership, UNEP-WCMC, 2010.
    Convention on Biological Diversity (Information/Thematic Databases), CBD, UNEP, 2010.

    Wikipedia -- Biomass, Biodiversity, Ecological Succession, Ecological Effects of Biodiversity, and 2010 Biodiversity Target, List of Biodiversity Databases

    Commentary -- The use of biomass as an energy source (biofuels) is still controversial, technically and economically. But there is a solid consensus that biodiversity is a crucial ecological resource required for ecosystem services and human welfare: "At least 40 per cent of the world’s economy and 80 per cent of the needs of the poor are derived from biological resources. In addition, the richer the diversity of life, the greater the opportunity for medical discoveries, economic development, and adaptive responses to such new challenges as climate change." (CBD 2002). Recommended: Consumer-Product Diversity now Exceeds Biodiversity, The Onion, 1998.

    4.3 Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services

    "All flesh is grass." Isaiah 40:6

    Exploring the Links: Human Well-being, Poverty and Ecosystem Services, Anantha K. Duraiappah, IISD, 2004.
    What are Ecosystem Services?, DEFRA-UK, 2006.
    Insects Provide Billions in Free Services, David Biello, SciAm, April 2006.
    Plants Provide Vital Ecosystem Services, Cary Institute, 2008.
    Query Manager and MARPLOT Applications, Data, and Maps, US NOAA, 2008.
    Why Ecosystem Services Matter, David Biello, SciAm, February 2009.
    Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, UNEP, 2001-2005.
    Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Synthesis Report, LTERNET, 2006.
    World Data Center for Biodiversity and Ecology, WDCBE, NBII, 2009.
    Center for International Earth Science Information Network, CIESIN, Earth Institute, Columbia University, 2010.

    Wikipedia -- Ecosystem, Ecosystem Services, and Ecological Goods and Services,

    Commentary -- Ecosystem services provide many valuable benefits to people. These include:

    Fuel (wood, dung, and other sources of bioenergy)
    Genetic resources
    Biochemicals, natural medicines, and pharmaceuticals
    Ornamental resources
    Fresh water

    Air quality regulation
    Climate regulation
    Water regulation
    Erosion regulation
    Water purification and waste treatment
    Disease regulation
    Pest regulation
    Natural hazard regulation

    Cultural diversity
    Spiritual and religious values
    Educational values
    Inspiration and aesthetic values
    Social relations and sense of place
    Cultural heritage values
    Recreation and ecotourism

    Soil formation
    Primary production
    Nutrient cycling
    Water cycling

    4.4 Ecosystem Use, Abuse, and Potential Recovery

    "The essential role of the environment is still marginal in discussions about poverty. While we continue to debate these initiatives, environmental degradation, including the loss of biodiversity and topsoil, accelerates, causing development efforts to falter." Wangari Maathai

    Ecological and Lyapunov Stability, James Justus, UT-Austin, 2006.
    Natural Resource Restoration, US NOAA, 2008.
    Rapid Recovery of Damaged Ecosystems, Holly P. Jones and Oswald J. Schmitz, Yale Univ, PLoS One, May 2009.
    Most polluted ecosystems recoverable within a lifetime, OneIndia News, May 2009.
    Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity , Johan Rockstrom et al, Ecology and Society, December 2009.

    Wikipedia -- Ecology, Deep Ecology, Ecological Stability, Ecological Resilience, Ecological Succession, Sustainable Forestry, Sustainable Agriculture, Ecosystem Management.

    Commentary -- The resilience of ecological systems to external disturbance is amazing. The paper by Jones and Schmitz listed above reports on the results for 233 strongly disturbed ecosystems. They found that 132 of the 233 ecosystems had recovered, 33 of the 233 had not recovered but were in the trajectory to recovery, and 68 of the 233 had not recovered and would be unable to recover. In other words, 57% of the ecosystems had recovered, 14% had not recovered but were bouncing back, and 29% had been perturbed beyond recovery. The range of recovery times was wide -- from decades to half-centuries, depending on the kind of ecosystem and the nature/duration of the perturbation. Recovery was not necessarily to the same levels of biomass and biodiversity that had before the perturbation. And, of course, most of the recoveries were supported by human-driven restoration practices. But still, over 50% of the ecosystems were able to recover and over 70% had not suffered irreparable damage. Mother nature is mercifully resilient. But 29% of the ecosystems were lost, so ecosystem resilience should not be used to justify abusive practices. Ecosystem services are indispensable for the well-being of humanity. If we keep abusing nature, it is at our own peril. "All flesh is grass."

    4.5 The Great Biomes of Planet Earth

    "Uniformity is not nature's way; diversity is nature's way."
    Vandana Shiva

    Map of the Global 200, National Geographic, 2001.
    The Freshwater Biomes: Ponds and Lakes, Streams and Rivers, Wetlands, UCB, 2001-2005.
    The Marine Biomes: Oceans, Coral Reefs, Estuaries, UCB, 2001-2005.
    The Desert Biomes: Hot & Dry, Semiarid, Coastal, Cold, UCB, 2001-2005.
    The Forest Biomes: Tropical, Temperate, Boreal, UCB, 2001-2005.
    The Grassland Biomes: Tropical Grasslands (Savannas), Temperate Tall-Grass (Prairies), Temperate Short-Grass (Steppes), UCB, 2001-2005.
    The Tundra Biomes: Arctic, Alpine, UCB, 2001-2005.
    Anthropogenic Biomes, SEDAC CIESIN, 1997-2010.
    Global Anthropogenic Biomes, SEDAC CIESIN, 2008.
    Putting people in the map: anthropogenic biomes of the world, SEDAC CIESIN, Frontiers Environment & Ecology, 2008.
    Global Anthropogenic Biomes Data Set, SEDAC CIESIN, 2008.
    Africa Anthropogenic Biomes Data Set, SEDAC CIESIN, 2008.
    Asia Anthropogenic Biomes Data Set, SEDAC CIESIN, 2008.
    Europe Anthropogenic Biomes Data Set, SEDAC CIESIN, 2008.
    Oceania Anthropogenic Biomes Data Set, SEDAC CIESIN, 2008.
    North America Anthropogenic Biomes Data Set, SEDAC CIESIN, 2008.
    South America Anthropogenic Biomes Data Set , SEDAC CIESIN, 2008.
    Ecosystems, Biomes, and Habitats, Franklin Institute, 2009.
    World Biomes, Blue Planet Biomes, 2009.

    Wikipedia -- Biomes, Global 200 - List of Ecoregions, Wikipedia

    Commentary -- Biomes are very large ecosystems composed of aggregates of ecosystems. Therefore, they provide the same valuable benefits as listed at the end of section 4.3.

    5. Renewable and Nonrenewable Energy Sources

    5.1 Fossil Fuels -- Coal, Oil, Natural Gas

    "Humankind has not woven the web of life.
    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
    All things are bound together. All things connect."

    Chief Seattle, 1855

    The Energy Perspective: Oil and the Magical 4% - Context, Willard Fey, EDL, 2005.
    The Energy Perspective: Oil and the Magical 4% - Complete Article, Willard Fey, EDL, 2005.
    OPEC/OECD Oil Long-Term Production and Consumption Statistics, US EIA AER, 2009.
    World Energy Oil Long-Term Production and Consumption Statistics, US EIA MER, 2009.
    World Energy - Statistics & Analysis, US EIA, 2009.
    US Energy - Statistics & Analysis, US EIA, 2009.
    Coal - Statistics & Analysis, US EIA, 2009.
    Petroleum - Statistics & Analysis, US EIA, 2009.
    Natural Gas - Statistics & Analysis, US EIA, 2009.
    Nuclear - Statistics & Analysis, US EIA, 2009.
    Electricity - Statistics & Analysis, US EIA, 2009.
    Statistical Review of World Energy 2009, BP, 2009.
    Energy Charting Tool 1965-2008, BP, 2009.
    Energy Exports Data Browser, BP, 2009.
    A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030, Jacobson & Delucchui, SciAm, 2009.
    Energy Technology Data Exchange, UN IEA, 2010.

    Wikipedia -- Fossil Fuels, Coal, Oil, Petroleum (Crude Oil), Oil Reserves, Natural Gas, Hydrocarbon Exploration, Nuclear Fuels, Nuclear Fusion, Nuclear Fission, World Energy Resources and Consumption, Wikipedia.

    Commentary -- "Fossil fuels remain the dominant sources of energy worldwide, accounting for 77% of the demand increase in 2007-2030. Although oil demand is expected to drop by 2.2% in 2009 as a whole, following a drop of 0.2% in 2008, it is projected to recover from 2010 as the world economy pulls out of recession, rising from around 85 million barrels per day in 2008 to 105 mb/d in 2030, an increase of around 24%. In 2007-2030, demand for coal grows by 53% and demand for natural gas by 42%." IEA WEO 2009

    5.2 "Peak Oil" (Hubbert's Curve)

    "Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know."
    M. K. Hubbert, 1957

    M. King Hubbert, 1903-1989, Hubbert Peak Web Site, 1998-2009
    Hubbert Peak of Oil Production, Hubbert Peak Web Site, 1998-2009
    Peak Phosphorus, Dery & Anderson, Energy Bulletin, 2007.
    Peak Oil Primer, ODAC, UK, 2009.
    Peak Oil and Gas Statistics, ASPO, 2009.
    Peak Oil and Limits to Growth, Meadows, Energy Bulletin, 2006.
    Squeezing More Oil Out of the Ground, Leonardo Maugeri, SciAmn, April 2009.
    Peak Oil Primer, Energy Bulletin, Post Carbon Institute, 2009

    Wikipedia -- Peak Oil, Marion King Hubbert (1903–1989).

    Commentary -- This is Hubbert's curve (click for a larger image):

    "A bell-shaped oil production curve, as originally suggested by M. King Hubbert in 1956." Wikipedia

    5.3 Renewable Energy Sources -- Wind, Waves, Water, Solar

    "The winds of grace are blowing, but it is you who must raise your sails."
    Rabindranath Tagore

    World Energy - Statistics & Analysis, US EIA, 2009.
    US Energy - Statistics & Analysis, US EIA, 2009.
    Renewable & Alternative Fuels - Statistics & Analysis, US EIA, 2009.
    Electricity - Statistics & Analysis, US EIA, 2009.
    Renewable Energy, UN IEA, 2009.
    Statistical Review of World Energy 2009, BP, 2009.
    Energy Charting Tool 1965-2008, BP, 2009.
    Energy Exports Data Browser, BP, 2009.
    Renewable Energy: Transformation Continues Despite Economic Slowdown, REN21 2009.
    Renewable Energy Global Status Report, and Data Charts, REN21 2009.
    A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030, Jacobson & Delucchui, SciAm, 2009.
    Energy Technology Data Exchange, UN IEA, 2010.

    Wikipedia -- Sustainable Energy, Energy and the Environment, Hydropower, Biofuels, Wind Power, Solar Power, Geothermal Power, Wave Power, Tidal Power, World Energy Resources and Consumption, Wikipedia.

    Commentary -- It will be interesting to see the interplay between supply and demand of oil during the next two decades, and the production costs increase on the down side of the curve.

    5.4 Ecological Footprint and Carbon Footprint

    "The Ecological Footprint (EF) is a resource accounting tool that measures the amount of biologically productive land and water area an individual, a city, a country, a region, or all of humanity uses to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its waste using prevailing technology." GFN

    Carbon Footprint - what it is and how to measure it, JRC EU, 2007.
    Carbon Trading: How it works and why it fails, DHF, 2009.
    Ecological Footprint (EF) and Carbon Footprint (CF), ESD RGS UK, 2008.
    Ecological Footprint and Carbon Footprint Calculators, ESD RGS UK, 2008.
    The Ecological Footprint, GFN, 2009.
    The Ecological Footprint: Methodology and Sources, GFN, 2009.
    Ecological Footprint Accounting and Methodology, GFN, 2009.
    The Ecological Footprint Atlas 2009, GFN, 2009.
    The Ecological Footprint Trendalyzer, GFN, 2009.
    2009 National Footprint Accounts, GFN, 2009.
    Carbon footprint data of the production of over 300 materials, LCA JRC EU, 2009.
    A Time For Change: Global Footprint Network 2009 Annual Report, GFN, 2009.
    United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)">, UNFCC Data on Greenhouse Gases (GHG), and How to find the data needed within the GHG data interface, UNFCCC, 2010.
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), IPCC Publications and Data, and IPCC Assessment Reports and Data Charts, IPCC, 2010.

    Wikipedia -- Carbon Footprint, Ecological Footprint, Carbon Cycle, Carbon Cycle Re-balancing, Kyoto Protocol, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Greenhouse Gases (GHG)

    Commentary -- The EF and CF metrics are becoming standard to measure human impact on natural resources at all levels: personal, local, national, global. According to the Global Footprint Network (GFN), humanity's EF surpassed the world's biocapacity in the late 1980s, and keeps growing. If any readers know about some other measure(s), or want to propose an alternative measure, please contact the editor.

    5.5 Transition from Nonrenewable to Renewable (and Clean) Energy Sources

    "If we don't change our course, we'll end up where we're headed".
    Chinese proverb

    Renewable Energy Future for the Developing World, Holm, ISES, 2005.
    Bail US Out of the Fossil Fuel Economy, Strickler, Common Dreams, 2008.
    The Alternative Energy Economy, Hodge, GCS, 2008.
    Living Through The New Energy Crisis, Klare, Alien World, 2009.
    Time for a Paradigm Shift: New Energy Solutions We Can All Adopt, AVIVA, 2009.
    World Energy Outlook (WEO), UN IEA, 2009.
    World Energy Outlook (WEO) Fact Sheets, UN IEA, 2009.
    Energy and Sustainable Development, UN IEA, 2009.
    Renewable Revolution: Low-Carbon Energy by 2030, Worldwatch Institute, 2009.
    A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030, Jacobson & Delucchui, SciAm, 2009.
    The Next Decade's Top Sustainability Trends, Karlenzig, Post Carbon, 2010.
    The Meaning of Copenhagen, Heinberg, Energy Bulletin, 2010.
    Energy Technology Data Exchange, UN IEA, 2010.

    Wikipedia -- Energy, Renewable Energy, Non-renewable Resources.

    Commentary -- The transition from nonrenewable to renewable (and clean) energy sources is not the complete solution to all impending global issues, but it is part of the solution. For more on this slice of the transition, the article A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030, by Mark Jacobson & Mark Delucchui, Scientific American, November 2009, is highly recommended.

    6. Pollution, Climate Change, and Environmental Management

    6.1 Air Pollution, Water Pollution, and Solid Waste

    "We find ourselves ethically destitute just when, for the first time, we are faced with ultimacy, the irreversible closing down of the earth's functioning in its major life systems. Our ethical traditions know how to deal with suicide, homicide and even genocide, but these traditions collapse entirely when confronted with biocide, the killing of the life systems of the earth, and geocide, the devastation of the earth itself." Thomas Berry

    Water Pollution and Society, Univ Mich, 2000.
    Litter Trashes the Environment, Larry West, About.com, 2004.
    Ozone Depletion, US EPA, 2008.
    Coastal Pollution Information, WHOI, 2007.
    Earth Reference Data and Models, EarhReference, 2009.
    AirData: Access to Air Pollution Data, US EPA, 2009.
    Air Pollutants and Air Pollution Trends, US EPA, 2009.
    WHO Statistical Information System & Database, WHO, 2009.
    United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCC, 2009.
    European Environmental Monitoring Databases, UNECE, 2009.
    reddot Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2010 Report, Yale EPI, January 2010.
    reddot Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2010 Data, Yale EPI, January 2010.

    Wikipedia -- Air pollution, Air Pollutant Concentrations, Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID), Water Pollution, Marine Pollution, Domestic Wastewater Treatment, Industrial Wastewater Treatment, Agricultural Wastewater Treatment, Solid Waste, Landfill Gas, Waste Management.

    Commentary -- If current trends persist, it will not be long before the most ubiquitous hazards to human health will be eating food, drinking water, and breathing air.

    6.2 "Resources Flow from the Poor to the Rich" (Vandana Shiva)

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
    Martin Luther King Jr.

    Follow the Money, Brian Hayes, AmSci, 2002.
    Why doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?, Alfaro et al, HBS, 2005.
    Policy Coherence for Development: Aid, Trade, Investment and other issues, World Connectors, 2007.
    The Lucas Paradox and the Quality of Institutions: Then and Now, Schularick & Steger, Free Univ Berlin, 2008.
    The Global Networks of Multinational Firms, Alfaro & Chen, HBS, 2009.

    Wikipedia -- Developed Countries, Developing Countries, Socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor, The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, Wealth Condensation, Economic Inequality, Income Inequality Metrics, Lucas Paradox, Vanda Shiva

    Commentary -- Resources flow from the poor to the rich. Why? Follow the money trail (or lack thereof). The term "institutional quality" is tricky. The decisive factor is not the "poor quality" of government and other institutions in developing countries. Poverty breeds poverty, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The decisive factor is the accounting practice of treating environmental and social costs as "externalities" that need not be paid by multinational corporations and their customers.

    6.3 "Pollution Flows from the Rich to the Poor" (Vandana Shiva)

    "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." Desmond Tutu

    Transboundary Pollution, SDWF, 2000.
    Cross-Border Pollution: A Growing International Problem, Larry West, About.com, 2004.
    Evaluation of transboundary pollution loads, Helsinski Commission, 2005.
    Policy Coherence for Development: Aid, Trade, Investment and other issues, World Connectors, 2007.
    Interstate and International Air Pollution, US EPA, 2008.
    Transboundary air pollution by main pollutants (S, N, O3) and PM, EMEP, 2009.
    Open Carbon World - Library, OCW, 2010.

    Wikipedia -- Emissions Trading, Mobile Emission Reduction Credit (MERC), Carbon Finance, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Vanda Shiva

    Commentary -- Garbage flow from the rich to the poor. Why? For the same reason stated at the end of the preceding section. Latest case example: COP-15 at Copenhagen, December 2009. Another case example is the Clean Development Mechanism, a Kyoto compromise that allows "industrialized countries with a greenhouse gas reduction commitment to invest in ventures that reduce emissions in developing countries as an alternative to more expensive emission reductions in their own countries." But this is about reducing costs, not about reducing pollution! Again, follow the money trail.

    6.4 Environmental Management and the Kyoto-Copenhagen Process

    "I am the one who made the earth and created people to live on it.
    With my hands I stretched out the heavens.
    All the stars are at my command."

    Isaiah 45:12

    Note: In the aftermath of the recent Copenhagen meeting, this section is longish. It includes links to some very recent scientific reports and the latest news about "climategate."

    Environmental Management Systems (EMS), US EAP, 2008.
    Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) and GEMI Interactive Tools, GEMI, 2008.
    Map of Future Forces Affecting Sustainability, GEMI, 2008.
    Environmental Management Resources, US DOE, 2009.
    COP15 United Nations Climate Change Conference Copenhagen 2009, UN COP15, 2009.
    Integrating Human Health into Environmental Impact Assessment: An Unrealized Opportunity for Environmental Health and Justice, Bhatia & Wernham, EHP, 2008.
    Global Warming Censored: Networks Stifle Debate, Rely on Politicians, Rock Stars, and Men-on-the-Street for Science, Media Research Center, 2008.
    Kyoto Protocol Information Sources, KyotoProtocol, 2005-2009.
    COP15 United Nations Climate Change Conference Copenhagen 2009, UN COP15, 2009.
    Cosmic-ray-driven electron-induced reactions of halogenated molecules adsorbed on ice surfaces: Implications for atmospheric ozone depletion, Qing-Bin Lu, Physics Review, 3 December 2009.
    reddot Climate Action 2009, Climate Action & UNEP, 2009.
    Environmental Management Resources, US EAP, 2010.

    About Copenhagen and "climategate"

    Business Implications Of The Copenhagen Accord, Verdantix, 20 December 2009.
    The Minimal compromise in Copenhagen: A target – but still no plan of action, WBGU, 20 December 2009.
    A preliminary assessment of the Copenhagen Accord, Grist, 20 December 2009.
    Study shows CFCs, cosmic rays major culprits for global warming, Univ Waterloo, 21 December 2009.
    Copenhagen: a look back at the most striking narratives, Grist, 22 December 2009.
    After Copenhagen: The agreement reached last week lends fresh urgency to challenges in science and communication, Nature, 24 December 2009.
    Copenhagen blame game is obstacle to 2010 climate deal, Grist, 29 December 2009.
    The Politics of Global Warming, NYT, 5 January 2010.
    Copenhagen pantomime, John Tulloch, UK, 7 January 2009.
    What if they’re right?, John Coutts, Spain, 8 January 2010.
    Five Reasons the Copenhagen Climate Conference Failed, George Dvorsky, IEET, 8 January 2010.
    reddot Where things stand on the Copenhagen Accord and international climate politics, Grist, 1 February 2010.
    reddot No Time to Put Climate Science on Ice, Achim Steiner, UNEP, 5 February 2010.
    reddot 'Climategate' scientist speaks out, Olive Hefferman, Nature, 17 February 2010.

    Wikipedia -- Environmental Management, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Health Impact Assessment (HIA), Social Impact Assessment (SIA), Strategic Impact Assessment (SEA), Quality Management System (QMS, ISO 9000), Environmental Management System (EMS, ISO 14000), Kyoto Protocol (2005), 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference, 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference

    Commentary -- Granted that the jury is still out on "global warming," it seems reasonable to think that the Precautionary Principle applies. The following map is self-explanatory (click for a larger image):

    Image created by Robert A. Rohde, Global Warming Art

    6.5 Potential Repercussions of Global Warming and Climate Change

    "First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win."
    Mahatma Gandhi

    Climate Change, AAAS, 2000.
    The Bridge to Humanity's Future, Fey & Lam, EDL, 2000.
    The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change">, Naomi Oreskes, Science, 2004.
    Trends in Sustainable Development, UN DESA, 2006.
    Trends in Sustainable Development - Introduction, UN DESA, 2006.
    Trends in Sustainable Development - Energy, UN DESA, 2006.
    Trends in Sustainable Development - Industrial Development, UN DESA, 2006.
    Trends in Sustainable Development - Atmosphere & Air Pollution, UN DESA, 2006.
    Trends in Sustainable Development - Climate Change, UN DESA, 2006.
    The Economics of Climate Change: Potential Costs of Global Warming, Cyrus Dehkan, Suite 101, 2007.
    Sudden and Disruptive Climate Change: Exploring the Real Risks and How We Can Avoid Them, Climate Institute, 2007.
    Impacts of Climate Change, Climate Institute, 2007-2009.
    Directory of Climate Resources, Climate Institute, 2007-2009.
    Links to Educational Resources, Climate Institute, 2007-2009.
    Directory of Energy Resources, Climate Institute, 2007-2009.
    Directory of International Resources, Climate Institute, 2007-2009.
    Economics and Sustainable Development, IISD, 2009.
    Climate Change and Energy, IISD, 2009.
    A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030, Jacobson & Delucchui, SciAm, 2009.
    Global Warming Prevention and Solutions, NexPlan, 2010.
    Effects of Pollution, NexPlan, 2010.
    Save Energy, Save Money & Save our Planet, Nexplan, 2010.
    Convenience .... the price we pay, Steve Dunlop, NexPlan, 2 January 2010.
    World Development Report: Development and Climate Change, World Bank, 2010.

    Wikipedia -- Global Warming, Effects of Global Warming, Runaway Climate Change, Climate Change, Abrupt Climate Change,

    Earth-Environment-Humanity Climate Change Diagram
    Source: European Science Foundation

    Commentary -- "The world’s energy resources are adequate to meet the projected demand increase through to 2030 and well beyond. But these Reference Scenario trends have profound implications for environmental protection, energy security and economic development. The continuation of current trends would have dire consequences for climate change. They would also exacerbate ambient air quality concerns, thus causing serious public health and environmental effects, particularly in developing countries." IEA WEO 2009

    7. Land, Agriculture, Food Supply, and Water Supply

    7.1 Land Use and Arable Land

    "The earth belongs to the living. No man may oblige the lands he owns or occupies or those that succeed him in that occupation to debts greater than those that may be paid during his own lifetime. Because if he could, the world would belong to the dead and not to the living." Thomas Jefferson

    Pan-European Soil Erosion Risk Assessment - PESERA Report, EU JRC, 2003.
    Pan-European Soil Erosion Risk Assessment - PESERA Map, EU JRC, 2003.
    Map of World Soil Resources, FAO/UNESCO, 2003.
    Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, USDA, 2006.
    Soil Erosion and Agricultural Sustainability, David Montgomery, PNAS, 2007.
    World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB), FAO/UNESCO, 2007.
    Harmonized World Soil Database (HWSD), IISA, Austria, 2008.
    Land Resources, Management, Planning and Use, UN FAO, 2009.
    World Soil Resources Maps, USDA/NRCS, 2008.
    US National Resources Inventory (NRI), USDA/NRCS, 2009.
    European Soil Database (ESDB), EU JRC, 2009.
    Land Use and Arable Land Statistics by Country, NationMaster, 2003-2010.

    Wikipedia -- Land, Landscape, Land Use, Land Management, Land Economics, Agricultural Land, Arable Land, Soil Fertility, Soil Erosion, Soil Erosion & Climate Change, Carrying Capacity, Land Use Statistics by Country, World Reference Base for Soil Resources.

    Commentary -- "The outstanding scientific discovery of the twentieth century is not television, or radio, [or computers!] but rather the complexity of the land organism. Only those who know the most about it can appreciate how little we know about it. The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: "What good is it?" If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering." Aldo Leopold (1887-1948)

    7.2 Rural Development and Sustainable Urbanization

    "It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly."
    Mabel Newcomber

    Rural Poverty Report 2001 - The Challenge of Ending Rural Poverty, UN IFAD, 2001.
    Sustainable Urbanization, Cogeneration Technologies, 2002.
    Sustainable urbanization: Cities and their surrounding countryside, Cobb, Huaren, 2004.
    Contemporary issues of agriculture and rural development in developing countries, Cleaver, UN IFAD, 2007.
    Rural Labor Statistics, UN ILO, 2008.
    Sustainable Urbanization and the Environment, UNITAR, 2009.
    Rural Poverty Knowledge Base, UN IFAD, 2010.
    Rural Poverty Case Studies Database, UN IFAD, 2010 (requires user login).
    Rural Poverty Report 2010, UN IFAD, 2010 (to be released 2010).
    Rural Development in the USA, USDA, 2010.
    Agriculture and Rural Development, World Bank, 2010.
    reddot EnerCities ~ Build your own sustainable city. Choose your energy sources, Paladin Studios, The Netherlands, 2010.

    Wikipedia -- Rural, Rural Development, Regional Development, Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Economics, Agriculture and Rural Development, Urbanization, Urban Planning & Sustainable Urbanization.

    EnerCities -- Released 3 February 2010 by Paladin Studios, The Netherlands.


    From the press release: "The game starts with a small village and a bit of land to build on. There is a simple drag-and-drop interface, with which players can build structures and expand their city. They then need to balance People, Planet and Profit - all while supplying the growing city with sufficient electricity and minimizing fossil fuel use. When done well, players can level up their city, providing them with more room to build and extra building options. Dylan Nagel, product manager for EnerCities: "Each decision influences the score: for example, if you build a nuclear plant, you minimize impact on your environment. The downside is that if you put it close to residential areas, your citizens will get unhappy." A similar example is with forests. "When clustered together, the environmental bonus of forests multiplies. However, when a forest is positioned next to a residential area, your citizens will be happier and healthier. This leads to interesting dilemmas."

    This is a great learning tool. TRY IT!

    7.3 Agricultural Best Practices

    "Soldiers fight and die to advance the wealth and luxury of the great,
    and they are called masters of the world without having a sod to call their own."

    Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, Rome, 133 BCE

    Resource Catalog of Information on Agricultural Best Management Practices That Positively Influence Climate Change, A Soil Conservation Council of Canada Project, 2001.
    World agriculture: towards 2015/2030, UN FAO, 2002.
    ISO Standards for Agriculture and Sustainable Forestry, California Green, 2006.
    ISO Standards for Agriculture, UN ISO, 2009.
    Principles for Sustainable Agriculture, Farming First, 2009.
    Applying the Farming First Principles to Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change, Farming First, 2009.
    Countries join initiative to improve their prospects for agricultural development, ReliefWeb, 2009.
    Land Resources Management, World Bank, 2009.
    Agricultural Best Practices, India Development Gateway, 2009.
    Weather based agricultural management, India Development Gateway, 2009.

    Wikipedia -- Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, The Lex Sempronia Agraria of Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, Agricultural Policy, Agricultural Subsidies, Agricultural Effects of Peak Oil, Agronomy for Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Agriculture, Good Agricultural Practices, International Organization for Standardization.

    Commentary -- The ISO Standards Organization probably offers the most comprehensive set of best practices and quality standards. The ISO standards are disciplined and auditable, but also allow time for corrective action when deviations are found. As of 2009, 17,500+ ISO standards had been published, covering every conceivable human activity. These standards are developed by committees of experts from around the world. The standards require registration and have "shalls" which are auditable once or twice a year. ISO also publishes guideline documents, i.e., best practices which have "shoulds" that are not auditable. The best known standards are ISO-9001 for quality management (982,000+ certificates issued as December 2009) and ISO-14001 for environmental management (188,000+ certificates issued as of December 2009). There is an ISO-26000 in preparation on Corporate Social Responsibility. The ISO standards and best practices pertaining to agriculture should be carefully considered by agricultural developers. All the standards include training modules and human development practices for all members of the organization being certified. They prescribe nothing that should not be done for responsible corporate management. It is lamentable that so many corporations fail to pursue certification (or even have they certificates revoked) and prefer to cut corners in their desperate pursuit of cost minimization and profit maximization in the short-term. Camelot is no longer to be found in the executive suites of multinationals; it has relocated to sub-Saharan Africa.

    7.4 Food Supply and Food Availability

    "To give without any reward, or any notice, has a special quality of its own."
    Anne Lindbergh

    Climate change and world food supply, CIESIN, 1993.
    Human Appropriation of the World's Food Supply, Univ Mich, 2006.
    Food and Water in an Emergency, US FEMA, 2004.
    Food Supply Chain Handbook, GMA, 2008.
    FAO Statistical Yearbook and Statistical Database, UN FAO, 2009.
    Agriculture, Food Supply, and Climate Change, US EPA, 2009.
    Phosphorus Famine: The Threat to Our Food Supply, Vaccari, Scientific American, June 2009.
    Traceability in the Food Supply Chain, US DHHS, 2009.
    Food Outlook: Global Market Analysis, UN FAO, 2009.
    World Food Situation - Analysis & Data, UN FAO, 2009.
    2010 Food Crisis for Dummies, Eric deCarbonnel, Market Skeptics, 17 December 2009.
    Food Marketing, UN FAO, 2010.
    Food Supply & Water Purification Security, US Gov Counter Terrorism Training, 2010.

    Wikipedia -- Food, Food Supply & Food Security, 2007-2008 World Food Price Crisis, Food Power, Famine Scales, Food, Fuels, and Biofuels, Overpopulation and Food Availability.

    Commentary -- Long food supply chains are expensive and generate pollution. Rural and urban development should be tightly coupled, so that cities can minimize the food they get from far away sources. Consumers who want to get "turrones" from Spain, "panetones" from Italy, and French wine should be willing to pay a fair "ecofood" tax. The dollar bill is the best rationing card ever devised. In order to level the field, the poor and the elderly should get food stamps for a reasonable allowance of those items. Governments should practice restraint in food services at all levels. There is nothing wrong with serving modest quantities of simple food to visiting dignitaries. In fact, it would be good for their health.

    7.5 Water Supply and Water Availability

    "We have too many high-sounding words,
    and too few actions that correspond with them."

    Abigail Adams

    Access to Safe Drinking Water, UNEP/GRIP, 2008.
    Water Availability - Issues, Data, Maps, USGS, 2008.
    Healthy Water & Drinking Water, US CDC, 2009.
    Water Supply & Sanitation, World Bank, 2009.
    National Water and Climate Center Water Supply Forecasting, USDA/NRCS, 2009.
    Drinking Water Quality, UN WHO, 2010.
    Water Sanitation and Health, UN WHO, 2010.
    OECD Water Statistics, OECD, 2010.
    Access to Safe Drinking Water, UNEP/GRIP, 2008.

    Wikipedia -- Water, Drinking Water, Water Quality, Water Supply, Water Security, Water Conservation, Water Intoxication,

    Commentary -- It is estimated that more than 1.1 billion people lack access to safe water. This is 16% of the human population! It is also estimated that 2.6 billion lack access to basic sanitation. This is 38% of the human population! When the choice is between inadequate sanitation and dying of thirst, poor people (who are Homo sapiens sapiens) have the right priorities: drinking takes precedence over taking a bath. Too bad the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs, listed in section 2.5) keep getting lots of promises but little action. For years, the developed nations were reluctant to invest in these projects due to "budgetary constraints." But when the financial crisis erupted in October 2008, suddenly the developed nations found ways to inject trillions of dollars to bail out the international financial system and mitigate the impact on their own economies. Interesting, isn't it? It seems that Abigail Adams was right: "We have too many high-sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them."

    8. Current Outlook for the Planet and Human Civilization

    Note: This section provides links to graphical or narrative snapshots on some critical issues of the "state of the world" as of February 2010, and a brief compilation of the growing number of "state of the world" reports. These annual reports are the flagship publications of many organizations engaged in sustainable development at the global level, and they are generally contain credible information and data in narrative, tabular, or graphical format. However, they never mention a factor that is of critical importance: the influence (sometimes positive, sometimes negative) of religious traditions and institutions.

    8.1 Outlook for the World's Population

    "In addition to the life-death cycle basic to nature,
    there is also an unnatural living death:
    human life which is denied its fullness."

    Paulo Freire

    Basic references: Current trend (click on the chart to see a larger image):
    "World population from 1800 to 2100 based on UN 2004 projections (red, orange, green) and US Census Bureau historical estimates (black)." Wikipedia

    World map (click on the chart to see a larger image):
    "Population density (people per km²) by country, 2006." Wikipedia

    Commentary -- Population growth is a minor part of the problem. The lack of education on responsible use of the gift of love and the gift of life is a much bigger problem. This bigger problem is further exacerbated by the growth in material consumption per capita and the culture of consumerism. The challenge is to foster cultural change pursuant to rejection of irresponsible sex and recognition that what really matters is to be more, not to have more.

    8.2 Outlook for the World's Men & Women

    "Human development, if not engendered, is fatally endangered."
    Mahbub ul Haq

    Basic references: The following is a decisive emerging trend in the secular sphere:

    "Women are unquestionably the largest new international player on the world stage today, and are shaping local, national, and global change in a variety of innovative ways. In recent years, most notably, women have been morphing from the passive beneficiaries of international development efforts to the powerful leaders that help bring about such change. The implications for practitioners of development are clear: focused research and bold policies are needed to better explore the contours of this change, and to maximize the rich leadership potential offered by women in today’s world." From Beneficiaries to Change Agents: The Rise of Women’s Leadership in International Development, Kirrin Gill et al, SAIS Review, Summer-Fall 2009.

    reddot Visualization of the current situation in the Christian religious sphere:

    Rev. Joanna Hollis
    Anglican Priest, Bermuda
    Source: revjph.blog.com

    for more information
    Religious phallocentrism is an obstacle
    to integral human development.
    Source: www.kirktoons.com

    Commentary -- Phallocentric clericalism is an obstacle to sustainable development and, in particular, to integral human development. It has nefarious effects in both men and women who are trying to overcome the phallic syndrome. Men need women to develop integrally, and women need men. Else, it is very hard for men to get in touch with the feminine in them (anima) and for women to get in touch with the masculine in them (animus); and this is crucial for healthy growth in the inner life. This in turn cannot but have a harmful effect on all dimensions of social life. Check out the case examples listed in section 2.4. This cannot possibly be God's will, since God wants only what is good for humanity. And yet, for some reason, it is very hard for most religious patriarchs to recognize this and act accordingly. Let us pray for the churches that risk doing what is right even if this might induce internal turbulence.

    8.3 Outlook for the World's Boys & Girls

    "The soul is healed by being with children."
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    Some basic references:

  • State of the World's Children 2009, UNICEF, 2009.
  • Facing the Future: Global Issues and Sustainability Resources, FTF, K-12 Curriculum Resources, 2009.
  • Child Trafficking Research Hub, Innocenti Research Center, UNICEF, 2009.
  • Tunza Network for Children, UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya, 2010.

  • Some current numbers:
    2.5 billion people still lack access to improved sanitation facilities.
    1 billion children are deprived of one or more services essential to survival and development.
    150 million children 5–14 years old are engaged in child labor.
    148 million under-fives in developing regions are underweight for their age.
    101 million children are not attending primary school, with more girls than boys missing out.
    37 million infants are not receiving iodized salt to protect them from iodine deficiency.
    22 million infants are not protected from diseases by routine immunization.
    19 million infants in developing countries are born with low birth weight.
    8.8 million children worldwide died before their fifth birthday in 2008.
    4 million newborns worldwide are dying in the first month of life.
    4 million under-fives die each year from just three causes: diarrhea, malaria or pneumonia.
    2 million children under 15 worldwide are living with HIV.
    Source: State of the World's Children 2009, UNICEF, 2009.
    Commentary -- Some primitive cultures practiced human sacrifice, including the sacrifice of children. But taking good care of children is now a moral imperative for civilized humans. In Swahili, the word "tunza" means "to treat children with care or affection." Most religious traditions reinforce this notion. There is a saying, "every time a baby is born is a confirmation that God still has confidence in humanity." Biblical quotation: "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (Matthew 19:14). Islamic quotation: "Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin" (Qur'an 17:31). UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959): "Children shall be protected from practices which may foster racial, religious, and any other form of discrimination. They shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and universal good will, and in full consciousness that their energy and talents should be devoted to the service of humanity." (Principle 10, slightly edited for gender inclusiveness)

    8.4 Outlook for the World's Biosphere

    "Sweet flowers are slow, weeds make haste."
    William Shakespeare, ca. 1600

    "In the great chain of causes and effects, no thing and no activity should be regarded in isolation." Alexander von Humboldt, ca. 1807

    Basic references:

  • The Gaia Theory: Model and Metaphor for the 21st Century, 2006-2009.
  • Living Planet Report and Living Planet Index, WWF, 2008.
  • Journey to Planet Earth: State of the Planet, PBS, 2009.
  • Earth Report: State of the Planet, National Geographic, 2009.
  • Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), 2009.

  • Definition: The biosphere is "the zone where life is found; the outer portion of the geosphere and the inner portion of the atmosphere. This extends from 3 m below the ground to some 30 m above it. The biosphere also comprises that region of waters, some 200 m deep, where most marine and freshwater life is found." Source: Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 2010.

    Current trend of the "Living Planet Index" (click on the graph):

    Living Planet Index (1970 index=1.0, WWF, 2008)

    The world geography of earthquakes (click on the map):

    Courtesy of Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)

    Question -- Is the frequency/intensity of earthquakes related to pollution accumulation? If anyone can provide an evidence-based answer, please contact the editor.

    8.5 General Outlook for the World's Future

    "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ....
    God saw all that he had made, and it was very good."

    Genesis 1:1, 31

    The following web sites provide all kinds of information and data for the entire world. Only the link to the home page is listed, but these home pages always include directories and/or search boxes that facilitate locating specific info/data.

  • Gender Info Database, UN Statistics Division, 2007.
  • reddot Low-Carbon Energy: A Roadmap, Christopher Flavin, Worldwatch Institute, 2008.
  • Connection of Civilizations, World Connectors, 2008.
  • Sustainable Development and Climate Change, World Connectors, 2008.
  • Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World, US National Intelligence Council, 2008.
  • reddot Collection of Maps and Graphics at UNEP/GRID-Arendal, UNEP/GRID-Arendal, 2008.
  • Planet Earth: A Graphic Look at the State of the World, Earth Web, 2009.
  • OECD Factbook: Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics, OECD, 2009.
  • A Profile of Immigrant Populations in the 21st Century: Data from OECD Countries, OECD, 2009.
  • OECD Communications Outlook 2009, OECD, 2009.
  • Sustainable Development Indicators in your Pocket, DEFRA, UK, 2009.
  • FAO Statistical Yearbook and
  • FAO Statistical Database, FAO, 2009.
  • Global Issues: social, political, economic and environmental issues that affect us all, Global Issues, 2009.
  • The World Factbook, US CIA, 2009.
  • Development Data & Statistics, World Bank, 2009.
  • World Development Indicators & Data Visualizer, World Bank, 2009.
  • State of the Future & Global Futures Studies, WFUNA Millennium Project, 2009.
  • State of the World 2009: Into a Warming World, Worldwatch Institute, 2009.
  • reddot The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning , James Lovelock, Basic Books, 2009.
    reddot Portal for Historical Statistics - World and Countries, EkoHist, Sweden, last updated 2009.
    reddot A Framework to Measure the Progress of Societies, OECD, 2009.
    reddot BellagioSTAMP: Sustainability Assessment and Measurement Principles, OECD/IISD, November 2009.
    reddot Global Peace Index (GPI), Vision of Humanity, 2009.
  • State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures, Worldwatch Institute, 2010.
  • NASA Global Change Master Directory, US NASA, 2010.
  • Global Development Spheres (5) and Programs (15), GDRC, 2010.
  • UN Data: A World of Information, UN Statistics Division, 2010.
  • Monthly Bulletin of Statistics Online (MBS), UN Statistics Division, 2010.
  • State of the World Resources - Maps and Graphics, UNEP/GRID-Arendal, 2010.
  • reddot Principal Global Indicators (PGI), Group of 20 (G-20) Inter-Agency Group on Economic and Financial Statistics, 2010.
    reddot World Technology Network, WTN, 2010.
    reddot Directory of Earth Policy Institute Datasets, EPI, 2010.
    reddot Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies, Wikiprogress, 2008-2010.
    reddot Hatched: The capacity for sustainable development , Landcare Research, New Zealand, 2010.

    Commentary -- There are basically two strategies going forward: mitigation and/or adaptation. Mitigation of consumption and pollution trends can buy time and should be encouraged but, in the long term, a substantial degree of adaptation will be required in terms of the interaction between humanity and the human habitat. It is hard to imagine such adaptation coming to pass without prior adaptation in human relations. Nonviolence must prevail (physically and psychologically) between men and women; between races; between nations; between cultures; between religions. And yet, nonviolence is necessary but not sufficient. The mindset of consumerism and confrontation must give way to a new mindset of solidarity and sustainability.

    9. Transition from Consumerism to Sustainability

    Note: There is a growing consensus that the transition from consumerism to sustainability will happen, but nobody really knows how it will come to pass. A few courageous souls have attempted to build some kind of roadmap, or at least some guidelines to be considered. This section provides links to a few of those, but there may be others. If anyone can provide links to other transition guidance material, please contact the editor.

    9.1 Global Issues Require Global Solutions

    See, I will create new heavens and a new earth.
    The former things will not be remembered,
    nor will they come to mind.

    Isaiah 65:17

    A Blueprint for Survival, The Ecologist, 1972.
    Branch Points: Global Scenarios and Human Choice, Gallopin et al, GSG/SEI, 1997.
    Bending the Curve: Toward Global Sustainability, Raskin et al, GSG/SEI, 1998.
    The Bridge to Humanity's Future, Fey & Lam, EDL, 2000.
    Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead, Raskin et al, GSG/SEI, 2002.
    Visions and Pathways for a Hopeful Future, Great Transition Initiative, 2007.
    Beyond Consumerism to Sustainability, Steve Cohen, New York Observer, November 2008.
    Transition to Sustainability: Towards a Humane and Diverse World, IUCN, 2008.
    Research and Action for a Global Civilization of Sustainability, Equity, and Well-being, Tellus Institute, 2009.
    Global Scenarios: Futures in Motion, Tellus Institute, 2009.
    2005-2100 Graphical Highlights of Global Scenarios, Great Transition Initiative, 2009.
    From Consumerism to Sustainability, Erik Assadourian, Worldwatch Institute, 2009.
    State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures, Erik Assadourian, Worldwatch Institute, 2010.
    2010 Solutions for a Better Future, WFS, 2010.
    Religion, Consumerism and Sustainability: Paradise Lost?, Lyn Thomas, Ed., Palgrave, scheduled for publication August 2010.
    2010 State of the Future, WFUNA Millennium Project, 2010 (release schedule TBA).

    Wikipedia -- Emerging Technologies, List of Emerging Technologies, Future, Future Studies, World Future Society.

    Commentary -- Predicting the future behavior of complex systems such as humanity and the biosphere is risky business. The reasonable thing to do is to formulate alternative scenarios and analyze their range of behavior modes under certain conditions. This is both a "scientific art" and an "artistic science." There is room here for everyone -- from dummies to gurus -- to participate and contribute. Success in this endeavor is not a matter of predicting specific events or trends. Rather, success is to be anticipatory without being inflammatory. Success is to be ready to face the future, and help others become ready. It is ludicrous to expect that technological breakthroughs will get humanity off the hook. Just "trusting in mother nature" is a cop out and a failure. Trusting in God is also a cop and a failure unless prayer leads to study and action. To do nothing is not an option.

    9.2 Systems Theory and Simulation Modeling

    "We should try to be the parents of our future rather than the offspring of our past."
    Miguel de Unamuno

    Beginnings and Philosophical Foundation

    Cybernetics: Control & Comm in Animals & Machines, Norbert Wiener, MIT, 1948.
    General System Theory, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Austria, 1950.
    The Macroscope, Joël de Rosnay, France, 1979.
    System Dynamics and the Lessons of 35 Years, Jay Forrester, MIT, 1991.
    What are Cybernetics and Systems Science?, Principia Cybernetica, 1999.
    Intellectual Roots and Philosophy of System Dynamics, Willard Fey, EOLSS, 2001.

    Operationalization and Computer Simulation

    Industrial Dynamics, Jay Forrester, MIT, 1961.
    Principles of Systems, Jay Forrester, MIT, Pegasus, 1968.
    Counterintuitive Behavior of Social Systems, Jay Forrester, MIT, Tech Review, 1971.
    Limits To Growth: The 30-Year Update, Meadows & Meadows, SI, 2004.
    Synopsis of Limits to Growth: The 30 Year Update, Meadows & Meadows, SI, 2004.
    Learning Environment - Limits to Growth, CD-ROM, Meadows & Meadows, SI, 2004.
    reddot Systems Thinking & STELLA Software, Barry Richmond, ISEE Systems, 2004.
    From System Dynamics and Discrete Event to Practical Agent Based Modeling: Reasons, Techniques, Tools, Andrei Borshchev & Alexei Filippov, Russia, 2004.
    Computer Simulation Techniques, Harry Perros, NCSU, 2009.
    reddot Problem Solving Matrix (PSM) and Explainer Engine, Donald Steward, 2009.
    Web General Purpose Simulation System (WebGPSS), WebGPSS, 2009.
    reddot Tracing Connections, Edited by Joy Richmond et al, ISEE Systems, 2010.


    Some Examples of Global System Models

    Integrated Global System Model (IGSM), GSPG, MIT, 2005.
    Integrated Biosphere Simulator Model (IBIS), US ORNL, 2008.
    Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (DGVM), SEIB/DGVM, Japan, 2010.
    Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC), IGBP/SCOR, 2010.

    Note -- Most global system models that are "operational" (i.e., models that are actually being used to support decisions) are about global physical, geological, or ecological subsystems. Some demographic and econometric models are also operational (for instance, see BEA). But models that include the social and managerial subsystems (such as Meadows' "Limits to Growth") are research models that may provide input to policy decisions but still are not an integral part of the policy-making process.

    Some Examples of System Dynamics Models

    In the following examples (done with STELLA 9.1.3), only the population curve is calibrated to approximate historical data, 1950-2010. In the following simulations, the following notation and units are used:
    • FCS stands for transition From Consumerism to Sustainability (time window 1950-2150)
    • POP stands for World Population, measured in people (i.e., number of persons)
    • GWP stands for Gross World Product, provisionally measured in "economic units"
    • RES stands for World Natural Resources, provisionally measured in "ecological units"
    • POL stands for World Pollution, provisionally measured in "garbage units"
    Conversion to real units is TBD. For instance, "economic units" must be converted to something like USD PPP for GWP, "ecological units" must be converted to tons for materials or watts for energy, and "garbage units" need conversion to pollution concentrations such as CO2 PPM . At the moment, imagine that you are looking at the world from the GPS satellite. More specific units will be used as we get closer to the ground. From a very high level, consider the following five simulations:
    The exponential growth trends experienced during the 1950-2000 time window do not appear to be sustainable much longer. This simulation portrays a highly optimistic (almost utopian) scenario. The simulation shows the impending decrease in population (blue curve) as natural resources are depleted and the concentration of pollution exceeds the absorbing capacity of the biosphere. But the smoothness of the trends is unrealistic. It is hard to imagine that the transition from consumerism to sustainability (2000-2150) will be so smooth.

    Simulation 2 is a bit more realistic. It assumes that there is a significant delay in people adjusting birth rates in response to declining resources. This introduces oscillations in population levels as people go through a series of under correction and over correction cycles. These demographic dynamics do not seem to have a significant impact on the other trends, because there must be other factors that "smooth out" the effect of demographic fluctuations.

    Simulation 3 is a bit more realistic. For this simulation, it is assumed that there is a time lag between population growth and growth in the accumulation of pollution. This induces fluctuations in pollution accumulation (green curve) in response to fluctuations in population growth. Notice, however, that the fluctuations in the population and pollution curves are not symmetrical -- this is because time delays in adjusting reproductive habits are not the same as time delays in the generation and perception of pollution levels.

    Simulation 4 is a bit more realistic. A feedback loop is now closed whereby population changes generate delayed pollution changes and these, in turn, induced delayed adjustments in both birth rates and death rates. Now the peaks and valleys of population and pollution become more synchronized, albeit not perfectly as many other factors are involved.

    Simulation 5 is the same as simulation 4 except that normally distributed random variability was added to the formulation of GWP (pink curve -- the random variations are barely visible due to scaling). The somewhat surprising result is that GWP variability does not seem to affect population but does seem to induce more pollution as well as amplification in the fluctuations of pollution. Does this mean that economic and financial variabilities induce production and consumption practices that generate additional amounts of pollution?

    NOTE: The simulation model used to generate this examples is very simple. It does not include the effects of food availability and many other factors in human reproductive behavior. It does not include any metrics of human well-being, such as the Genuine Progress Indicator (GEI). And, it does not include human development and cultural adaptation factors that may lead to changes in reproductive and consumer behavior, and eventually on pollution trends as well. As long as only material flows are considered, the model remains in the "Limits to Growth" tradition, albeit in a very simplified manner. The next step would be to include non-material cultural and behavioral factors that would become more active as natural resources are depleted and bio-physical limits start hitting people in their pocketbooks and life styles. See the following: Sustainable Development and the "Second Wave" of System Dynamics.

    Wikipedia -- Cybernetics, New Cybernetics, Complex Systems, Systems Theory, Systems Thinking, System Dynamics, Systems Science by Disciplines, World Systems Theory, General Systems Theory, Mathematical Modeling, Computer Simulation, World Dynamics (Jay W. Forrester), World Dynamics (World3 Model - Meadows et al).

    Commentary -- Nothing is unrelated to integral human development. Therefore, nothing is unrelated to sustainable development. It is a complex, multidimensional, interdisciplinary process. Systems theory, and supporting techniques such as mathematical modeling and computer simulation, may offer the best range of options for scenario analysis and policy formulation. This, of course, as long as all the technicalities are supported by common sense -- "the least common of the senses."

    9.3 Management of Global, National, and Local Issues

    "The law of conservation of energy tells us that we can't get something for nothing, but we refuse to believe it." Isaac Asimov

    Our Global Neighborhood: Report of the UN Commission on Global Governance, Un, 1996.
    Interactive Climate Simulations, Sustainability Institute, 2004.
    Global Governance Initiative (GGI), and GGI 2006 Report, WEF, 2006.
    Partnerships for Sustainable Development: An Appraisal Framework, Frank Biermann et al., GLOGOV, 2007.
    Partnerships, Governance And Sustainable Development , GLOGOV, 2007.
    Fragmentation of Global Governance Architectures: The Case of Climate Policy, Frank Biermann et al., GLOGOV, 2007.
    reddot Grand Challenges for Engineering, US National Academy of Engineering, NAS, 15 February 2008.
    reddot Introduction to the Grand Challenges for Engineering
    reddot Make solar energy economical
    reddot Provide energy from fusion
    reddot Develop carbon sequestration methods
    reddot Manage the nitrogen cycle
    reddot Provide access to clean water
    reddot Restore and improve urban infrastructure
    reddot Advance health informatics
    reddot Engineer better medicines
    reddot Reverse-engineer the brain
    reddot Prevent nuclear terror
    reddot Secure cyberspace
    reddot Enhance virtual reality
    reddot Advance personalized learning
    reddot Engineer the tools of scientific discovery
    Data for Development -- DevInfo Database Software (MDB/XLS), DevInfo, 2009.
    A Tale of Two Crises: What the Global Financial Crisis Means for the Global Environmental Crisis, Kyla Tienhaara, GLOGOV, 2009.
    Copenhagen Accord Establishes Global Government Framework, Paul Watson, Prison Planet, 19 December 2009.
    Final Text of the Copenhagen Accord, NYT, 19 December 2009.
    Research Projects of the World Policy Institute, WPI, 2009.
    About the UN Commission on Global Governance (CGG), Insider, 2010.
    reddot Grand Challenges of the 21st Century, The White House, 4 February 2010.
    reddot Grand Challenges of the 21st Century: Request for Information, The White House, 4 February 2010.

    Wikipedia -- Global Governance, United Nations Global Compact, Global Crisis: Risks to civilization, humans and planet Earth.

    Commentary -- It is hard to determine whether or not there is a "conspiracy" about creating a new world order. Eventually, some form of world governance will be required. Local issues and national issues can be resolved at the local and national levels, respectively; but global issues require global solutions. It is also hard to anticipate whether or not the United Nations, or some reformed version of it, might be the focal point for such global governance. In any case, it is hoped that the global political system will be democratic, with checks and balances between executive, legislative, and judicial powers. Global authorities are to be elected by all nations and peoples of the world, with assurance of proportional representation. It is also hoped that any such system will be guided by the subsidiarity principle, i.e., only global issues (such as global environmental management and keeping the peace between nations) are to be elevated for disposition by the global authorities. Easier said than done, but not impossible: "Between individuals as between nations, respect for the rights of others is peace." Benito Juárez, Zapotec and president of Mexico, 1867.

    9.4 The Role of Global, National, and Local Institutions

    "It is dangerous to be right
    in matters on which the established authorities are wrong."


    Directory of Country Governments, GKSOFT, 2002.
    Directory of Country Governments, Global Politics, 2006.
    World Government, Catherine Lu, Stanford, 2006.
    Do We Have the International Tools to Fight the Global Economic Crisis?, AEI, 2008.
    Global Institutions and the Role of Resources, Pogge, Policy Innovations, 2006.
    Rising Powers and Global Institutions, Ikenberry & Wright, TCF, 2008.
    The Food Crisis and Global Institutions, Alexandra Spieldoch, SPIF, 2008.
    Global institutions need a drastic overhaul, LSE, 2009.
    reddot Sustaining Excellence: The 2008–2009 Annual Report of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, IISD, 2009.
    United Nations (UN) and UN Databases, UN, 2010.
    International Monetary Fund (IMF) and IMF Databases, IMF, 2010.
    World Bank (WB) and WB Databases, WB, 2010.
    World Trade Organization (WTO) and WTO Databases, WTO, 2010.
    World Health Organization (WHO) and WHO Databases, WHO, 2010.
    Directory of Links to Foreign Governments, NWU, 2010.

    Wikipedia -- Global Financial System (GFS), World Government, New World Order (Conspiracy Theory).
    Searching for National and Local Data -- Wikipedia has an article for each country, with external links to the country government and other national and local institutions. See, for example, Cuba. This is a good entry point if you need specific country data. Another good entry point for national and local institutions is Google, with queries such as the following including the quotes unless the name is a single word: <"country name" "institution name" "resource name">.
    Commentary -- It would not seem desirable for humanity to be governed by a resurrected, worldwide version of the Roman empire. And God forbid that such global government to be a theocracy! Democracy is the way to go at all levels, with strict adherence to the Principle of Subsidiarity (see section 3.5). Subsidiarity is a necessary condition for good governance in all institutions, both secular and religious. The following clarification is noteworthy: "Two very different ideas are usually confounded under the name democracy. The pure idea of democracy, according to its definition, is the government of the whole people by the whole people, equally represented. Democracy as commonly conceived and hitherto practiced is the government of the whole people by a mere majority of the people, exclusively represented. The former is synonymous with the equality of all citizens; the latter, strangely confounded with it, is a government of privilege, in favor of the numerical majority, who alone possess practically any voice in the State. This is the inevitable consequence of the manner in which the votes are now taken, to the complete disfranchisement of minorities." John Stuart Mill, Representative Government, 1861.

    9.5 The Role of Individual Global Citizens

    "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
    for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away ...."

    Revelation 21:1

    Definition: "Global citizens are willing to think beyond boundaries of place, identity and category, and recognize all human beings as their equals while respecting humanity's inherent diversity. Within their own sphere of influence, global citizens seek to imagine and work towards a better world." UBC Okanagan Academic Planning Team, March 2005.

    The Global Citizen, Donella Meadows, 1996-2001.
    Voice of the Global Citizen, Donella Meadows, Sustainability Institute, 2004.
    Global Solidarity & Global Citizenship, IHM Sisters, 2004.
    The Spirit of Global Belonging: Perspectives from Some Humanity-Oriented Icons, Mohammad Omar Farooq, 2006.
    The Practices of Global Citizenship, Hans Schattle, Google Book, 2008.
    No Girls Allowed? Are The World's Religions Inevitably Sexist?, Rita M. Gross, YCIS Yogia, Indonesia, 2009.
    Christian Aid's Resource for Global Citizenship Education, Christian Aid, UK, 2010.

    Wikipedia -- Global Citizenship, Global Village, Global Citizens Movement, Information Revolution, Relevance Paradox, Unity in Diversity,

    Commentary -- The following is a well known remark attributed to anthropologist Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world, indeed that is the only way the world has ever been changed." This is certainly true, but time is of the essence for global citizens. A global critical mass of people willing to become global citizens (as defined above) is required in order to overcome the inertia that is intrinsic to cultural evolutions. If the finger pointing spectacle at Copenhagen is any indication, a critical mass of world leaders willing to become global citizens is utterly lacking. But neither apathy nor despair will get anyone going. It took Christians 300 years to evangelize the Roman empire. It is unreasonable to think that exponential growth and environmental deterioration can continue for 300 years without both humanity and the human habitat suffering irreversible damage. How long will it take to overcome all forms of gender discrimination in society and religion? Is it possible to grow in global solidarity and become global citizens as long as racism, sexism, and other "isms" continue to poison human relations? Global citizens who are religious can trust in God and the triad of prayer, study, and action. Global citizens who are not religious can still trust in their inner conscience if they embrace the principles of solidarity, sustainability, and nonviolence. In either case, the bottom line for global citizens is the same: "don't quit."

    Don't Quit
    Author Unknown

    When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
    When the road your trudging seems all uphill,
    When the funds are low and the debts are high,
    And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
    When care is pressing you down a bit
    Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

    Life is queer with its twists and its turns,
    As everyone of us sometimes learns,
    And many a failure turns about
    When they might have won, had they stuck it out.
    Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
    You may succeed with another blow.

    Often the struggler has given up
    When he might have captured the victors cup;
    And he learned too late when the night came down,
    How close he was to the golden crown.

    Success is failure turned inside out
    The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
    And you never can tell how close you are,
    It may be near when it seems so far;
    So stick to the fight when your hardest hit,
    It's when things seem worst that you must not quit!

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