Climate, scenario-building and governance: comprehending the temporalities of social-ecological change

Lockie, Stewart (2014) Climate, scenario-building and governance: comprehending the temporalities of social-ecological change. In: Lockie, Stewart, Sonnenfeld, David A., and Fisher, Dana R., (eds.) Routledge International Handbook of Social and Environmental Change. Routledge International Handbooks . Routledge, London, UK, pp. 95-105.

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[Extract] About 200 years ago the Earth entered the age of the Anthropocene, a geological epoch in which humans have come to rival the great forces of nature in the regulation of critical Earth-system processes (Crutzen 2002). With the advent of the industrial revolution, humans began to modify the Earth's atmosphere, biota, hydrology, nutrient cycles and surface-level energy balance to such an extent as to leave behind the relatively steady and favourable environmental state of the Holocene interglacial (see also Steffen et a1. 2007). Following the Second World War, economic activity, energy use and, by extension, human influence on the environment grew exponentially in what Steffen et a1. (2007: 617) refer to as the Great Acceleration, a stage they argue is reaching criticality. Of nine Earth-system processes identified as essential to the maintenance of a 'safe operating space' for humanity typical of the Holocene (Rockstrom et al. 2009), three appear to have already passed plausible boundaries for the avoidance of potentially dangerous environmental transformation; those processes being climate change, biodiversity loss and changes to the nitrogen cycle. At the same time, Steffen et a1. (2007: 618) argue there is evidence that 'the intellectual, cultural and legal context that permitted the Great Acceleration after 1945 has shifted in ways that could curtail it' should the challenge to act be taken seriously.

Item ID: 30950
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-415-78279-1
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2014 02:40
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160801 Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160802 Environmental Sociology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960504 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960601 Economic Incentives for Environmental Protection @ 20%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 50%
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