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The Century Ahead: Searching for Sustainability

Author

Listed:
  • Paul D. Raskin

    () (Tellus Institute, 11 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116, USA)

  • Christi Electris

    () (Tellus Institute, 11 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116, USA)

  • Richard A. Rosen

    () (Tellus Institute, 11 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116, USA)

Abstract

The global future lies before us as a highly uncertain and contested landscape with numerous perils along the way. This study explores possible pathways to sustainability by considering in quantitative detail four contrasting scenarios for the twenty-first century. The analysis reveals vividly the risks of conventional development approaches and the real danger of socio-ecological descent. Nonetheless, the paper underscores that a Great Transition scenario—turning toward a civilization of enhanced human well-being and environmental resilience—remains an option, and identifies a suite of strategic and value changes for getting there. A fundamental shift in the development paradigm is found to be an urgent necessity for assuring a sustainable future and, as well, a hopeful opportunity for creating a world of enriched lives, human amity, and a healthy ecosphere.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul D. Raskin & Christi Electris & Richard A. Rosen, 2010. "The Century Ahead: Searching for Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(8), pages 1-26, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:8:p:2626-2651:d:9336
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wa’el A. Hussien & Fayyaz A. Memon & Dragan A. Savic, 2016. "Assessing and Modelling the Influence of Household Characteristics on Per Capita Water Consumption," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 30(9), pages 2931-2955, July.
    2. Sergiy Smetana & Christine Tamásy & Alexander Mathys & Volker Heinz, 2015. "Sustainability and regions: sustainability assessment in regional perspective," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 163-186, November.
    3. Elmar Kriegler & Brian-C O'Neill & Stéphane Hallegatte & Tom Kram & Richard-H Moss & Robert Lempert & Thomas J Wilbanks, 2010. "Socio-economic Scenario Development for Climate Change Analysis," Working Papers hal-00866437, HAL.
    4. Heller, Peter S., 2011. "Rethinking the World of Aid in the Twenty First Century," WIDER Working Paper Series 067, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Mohajan, Haradhan, 2015. "Sustainable Development Policy of Global Economy," MPRA Paper 82815, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Mar 2015.
    6. Hauschildt, Verena & Schulze-Ehlers, Birgit, 2014. "An Empirical Investigation into the Adoption of Green Procurement Practices in the German Food Service Industry," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 17(3).
    7. Elmar Kriegler & Brian-C O'Neill & Stéphane Hallegatte & Tom Kram & Richard-H Moss & Robert Lempert & Thomas J Wilbanks, 2010. "Socio-economic Scenario Development for Climate Change Analysis," CIRED Working Papers hal-00866437, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sustainability; scenarios; global; simulation; development; climate; energy; water; hunger; agriculture;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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