Sunday, 6 September 2009

More from Paul Elrich

Dear Friends,

There is growing consensus among environmental scientists that the scholarly community has adequately detailed how to deal with the major issues of the human predicament caused by our success as a species – climate disruption, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, toxification of the planet, the deterioration of the epidemiological environment, the potential impacts of nuclear war, racism, sexism, economic inequity, and on and on. I and my colleagues believe humanity must take rapid steps to ameliorate them. But, in essence, nothing serious is being done – as exemplified by the “much talk and no action” on climate change. The central problem is clearly not a need for more natural science (although in many areas it would be very helpful) but rather a need for better understanding of human behaviors and how they can be altered to direct humanity toward a sustainable society before it is to late.

That’s why a group of natural scientists, social scientists, and scholars from the humanities decided to inaugurate a Millennium Assessment of Human Behavior (MAHB — pronounced “mob”). It was so named to emphasize that it is human behavior, toward one another and toward the planet that sustains all of us, that requires rapid modification. The idea is that the MAHB might become a basic mechanism to expose society to the full range of population-environment-resource-ethics-equity-power

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