Sustainability: A mosaic of many small steps in the right directions

Hans-Peter Plag

Nevada Geodetic Laboratory, University of Nevada, Reno, USA

Presented on April 18, 2008 at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA; see the EarthStock page.

Copyright 2008, Hans-Peter Plag

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This presentation has the following main parts:

  • Introduction: Some preliminary remarks on the sustainability
  • Humanity: Our abilities and potentials
  • Humanity's impact on the Earth system: we have acquired the power to change the Earth system substantially, we have entered the Anthropocene, but we not learned to wield the power.
  • The Challenge: We are facing potential extinsion and we have to become good stewards of the Earth in order to survive.
  • Towards sustainability: Do we have the tools to assess progress towards sustainability?
  • Can we meet the individual environmental, social, and economic challenges: we have the ethics, concepts, and technology. But do we have the value system and the will to go there?
  • What you can do: there are many small steps each of us can contribute in the private, social, and work life.
  • Will we make it?