Con-Ciencia Sostenible

Desarrollo Sostenible? Tecnologías y Sostenibilidad? Ciudad sostenible y pobreza? Progreso y Cultura? Economía global y Derechos humanos? Ética y globalización? Comentemos...

11 d’abril 2006

Sustainable Development and the State of the Planet

EarthTrends Update March 2006:
Featured Topic: Sustainable Development and the State of the Planet
The biennial State of the Planet Conference was held in New York City on March 28 and 29 to address the question "Is Sustainable Development Feasible?" More than 30 experts in policy, environmental science, industry, and economics spoke on an array of sustainable development topics. Two issues in particular were identified as the most pressing concerns for the global community: the eradication of extreme poverty and climate change. Specific challenges for better environmental stewardship, reduced consumption, enhanced technology, and improved education were also addressed. These goals are currently not being met on a global scale, but are critical to obtaining sustainable development.
EarthTrends shares the mission of the State of the Planet’s organizers and speakers: to broadly reduce apathy and support actions that improve the global environment and human well-being. Specifically, our web site draws attention to the relationships among the most pertinent environmental statistics and provides the quantitative and analytical context that help frame discussions and policy. EarthTrends' Poverty Resource Special Collection and Climate and Atmosphere Research Topic are particularly useful tools to aid in the understanding of poverty and climate change, respectively. The graphics below highlight some of the data and maps on our site that relate poverty and climate change to the broader issue of sustainability.
Extreme poverty. The economic and social gap between the richest and poorest nations of the world is large, and continues to grow with increasing population. About half of the world’s people live on less than $2/day. Millions of people die every year from preventable illnesses such as malaria and diarrhea, including an estimated 29,000 children daily who lack access to basic necessities such as water, food, and medicine (UNICEF).

Global Climate Change. The vast majority of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, the principal cause of global warming, are contributed by the developed world. If we continue with "business as usual", CO2 levels in the earth's atmosphere are expected to reach 550 parts per million by 2050, twice their pre-industrial concentrations. Without more rigorous control measures, substantial physical changes, such as increased hurricane intensity or the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (which will raise sea level by around 7 m), are likely. The negative impacts due to climate change on health, economics, ecosystems, global security, and food and water supplies are already apparent and expected to worsen.
Action within an environmentally responsible and socially equitable framework will have direct, positive impacts on the economic and political well-being of this and future generations. Sustainable development is feasible, but to achieve it requires immediate and effective policies, revolutionary market-based strategies, and a change in our value systems. Solutions must come from the combined efforts of an informed, engaged, and cooperative global citizenry.
A wealth of sustainable development information, including complete audio and visual coverage of the State of the Planet conference proceedings, is available through Columbia University's Earth Institute, the principal organizers of this event.