Getting to Global Ecological Sustainability: Climate and Small-Planet Ethics

Friday, February 15, 2013: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room 300 (Hynes Convention Center)
The sustainability challenge is multifaceted, inspiring a plethora of initiatives addressing separate subsets of this complexity. At its core, however, are for which synergistic action result in ecological degradation and associated social injustice. Climate change is one manifestation of a suddenly small world -- at least in comparison to the scale and magnitude of human impacts. Resource extraction and waste production used to be localized and superficial; their effects were largely dissipated or mitigated without significant adverse impact elsewhere. But now, many consumptive activities pose risks to others -- especially those less able to advocate for themselves legally and politically -- in addition to future generations and nonhuman organisms. Furthermore, problems that may appear separate are connected, calling for integrative solutions. In this symposium, we will investigate this small-planet problem and propose a set of critical elements of integrative solutions. The speakers will review the current state of understanding on the challenges posed by climate change and some possible major course changes to cope with those challenges; they will describe the consequences of climate change and other human impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems and the implications for human well-being. Finally, they will characterize the difficulty of managing Earth’s social-ecological systems given current institutions and sketch one possible bold science-based integrative solution.
Kai Ming A. Chan, University of British Columbia
Paige Olmsted, University of British Columbia
Paige Olmsted, University of British Columbia
Jane M. Lubchenco, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Meeting the Monumental Challenges of Climate Change and Other Drivers