Published on March 20th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan1
Planetary Boundaries (VIDEOS & NEW PAPER)
I wrote about a massive study on “planetary boundaries” a two and a half years ago on sister site EcoLocalizer (EcoWorldly back then). One of our readers recently passed on a video on this topic to me, and I thought it might be worth a rerun. It’s the first video above. The second video is another very good one on the topic by one of the key researchers.
Additionally, a new paper on this planetary boundaries work has just been published. Here’s a summary of that:
A range of studies from Earth system scientists argue that human activities drive multiple, interacting effects that cascade through the Earth system. Recent contributions state and quantify nine, interacting ‘planetary boundaries’ with possible threshold effects.
This article provides an overview of the global governance challenges that follow from this notion of multiple, interacting and possibly non-linear ‘planetary boundaries’. Here we discuss four interrelated global environmental governance challenges, as well as some possible ways to address them.
The four identified challenges are related to, first, the interplay between Earth system science and global policies, and the implications of differences in risk perceptions in defining these boundaries; second, the capacity of international institutions to deal with individual ‘planetary boundaries’, as well as interactions between them; third, the role of international organizations in dealing with ‘planetary boundaries’ interactions; and fourth, the role of global governance in framing social—ecological innovations.
Concerning stuff. If we don’t move fast, we might drive ourselves into the biggest societal catastrophe the world has ever seen.