Can we reach a future that is both environmentally and socially sustainable? Many issues characterise global developments at the end of the twentieth century: globalization of the economy, unemployment, social problems, environmental pollution, resource waste, ecological destruction. Earth at a Crossroads offers a holistic systems view of the development of human society within the natural environment on which it depends for support. The book stresses the dynamic nature of interconnected feedback processes, traces possible future paths of societal development and their impacts, determines their sustainability, and points at necessary changes. Two alternative visions of the future are presented: a Path A resulting from continuation of current trends, and a contrasting Path B that would result from adhering to principles of sustainability and protection of the natural system in the interests of future generations. This book will become an important reference in the discussion of global society's path into the next millennium.
• This book could form THE blueprint for discussion of future sustainable development worldwide • Terms 'Path A' and 'Path B' could become 'buzz words' for all those concerned with environmental development • Discusses a topic important for the environment worldwide • Draws together in one place an integrated assessment of social, economic, technological and environmental problems and their relationship to values and world view
Part I. Concepts and Tools: 1. Mapping the future; 2. Riverbeds of the future; 3. Understanding dynamics; 4. Assessing progress; Part II. Two Visions of the Future: 5. Infrastructure; 6. Economic system; 7. Social system; 8. Individual development; 9. Government; 10. Environment, resources, future; Part III. From Vision to Action: 11. World views and principles; 12. Agenda for change; Epilogue; Further reading; Notes; References; Index.
'… for the audience of aware, concerned people, futurists, environmentalists, business people, journalists, academics, this book will be considered a classic. It will be considered a 'must-read'.' Donella Meadows, Dartmouth College
'This is well-argued case for a change in thinking about the way we organise our society, based on a sound understanding of how the complex environmental, economic, and social systems work and interact with each other. Read it and it will change your perceptions of the problems that face us, and the solutions that are possible.' J. N. R. Jeffers, Sustainable Development and World Ecology