Research Fellow CSIRO Land and Water, Australia; and Visiting Professor, The Fenner School, Australian National University
December 15 (Tuesday), 2020 at 10:00 a.m. CET
Abstract: The trajectory the world is on is unsustainable; climate change, diseases/epidemics, mass migrations, social-economic collapse, unrelenting loss of biodiversity being some of the symptoms. Transformational changes are needed in the drivers of the current trends, and a tentative list of such drivers includes: (i) the economic system, (ii) homogenization, (iii) human population growth, size, and densities, (iv) consumption patterns, human ethics, and behavior, and (v) governance. Where and how to intervene? The adaptive cycle is suggested as an appropriate framework. A critical phase in the cycle is the brief period after crisis when novelty and innovation can change the future trajectory. Without being prepared for this window of opportunity, deep, systemic change may be unachievable. If response to the present COVID crisis merely reinforces the existing system, its incompatibility with the natural world and its propensity to increase inequity and conflict will likely increase fragility and lead to another version of the present calamity.