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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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VIII. Earth Earns: An Open Participatory Earthropocene to Astropocene CoCreative Future

C. An Earthropocene Era: Pedia Sapiens Can Choose a Unified Peaceful, Viable Ecosphere

Dale, Ann. At the Edge: Sustainable Development in the 21st Century. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2001. A better future can be achieved by reconciling three intertwined aspects – ecological, social and economic. A good glossary is included.

Daly, Herman and Joshua Farley. Ecological Economics. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2011. Senior University of Maryland and University of Vermont social scholars here offer, in so many words, that humanity’s carrying capacity upon this finite orb has been reached and breached. Akin to an organism at adulthood, it is past time to shift to a mature sustainable life style. Part One lays out The Fundamental Vision, a paradigm shift to an economical commerce aware of and set within bioregional ecosystems. Part Two engages The Nature of Resources and the Resources of Nature, both Abiotic and Biotic, in an appropriate thermodynamic context. These thorough grounds lead to Microeconomic depths and Macroeconomic breadth from human scale habitations and trade to suitable international policies.

Deb, Debal. Beyond Developmentality: Constructing Inclusive Freedom and Sustainability. London: Earthscan, 2009. From the director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, Barrackpore, India, a non-western evocation and course toward a social and ecological sanity. Of especial note is a Preface by Berkeley resource environmentalist Richard Norgaard who decries a need for just such “a new life story” from our rapacious consumption to a viable organic nurturance.

Dijkema, Gerard, et al. Complexity in Industrial Ecology. Journal of Industrial Ecology. 19/2, 2015. An introduction to an issue on Advances in Complex Adaptive Systems CAS which notes that nonlinear science, with a natural affinity to sustainability studies, has now attained a mature theoretical and practical applicability. In regard, has resurfaced and matured to an apt utility, while agent based modeling ABM has eased in interest. After nonequilbrium thermodynamics and agent-based modeling, the prime trend has been the recognition and avail of network phenomena which best characterize social, urban, technological, and informational “symbiotic metabolisms.” If human beings with respectful intention are to take over the organic maintenance of a precious biosphere and personsphere, it is vital to understand and apply evolutionary nature’s own wisdom and ways.

For sample articles, see A General Systems Structure and Accounting Framework for Socioeconomic Metabolism by Stefan Pauliuk, et al, Industrial Ecology: The View from Complex Systems by Luis Bettencourt and Christa Breisford, Why Do Cities Grow: Insights from Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics at the Urban and Global Scales by David Bristow and Christopher Kennedy, and IE = Industrial Evolution? by Igor Nikolic. The last three papers are reviewed separately in this Viable Gaia section.

The Journal of Industrial Ecology is an international, multi-disciplinary bimonthly designed to foster both understanding and practice in the emerging field of industrial ecology. Industrial ecology is a rapidly-growing field that systematically examines local, regional and global materials and energy uses and flows in products, processes, industrial sectors and economies. It focuses on the potential role of industry in reducing environmental burdens throughout the product life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials, to the production of goods, to the use of those goods and to the management of the resulting wastes. The journal is published by Wiley Blackwell for Yale University on behalf of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. It is the official journal of the International Society for Industrial Ecology.

Doll, William, et al, eds. Chaos, Complexity, Curriculum, and Culture. New York: Peter Lang, 2005. A unique work aimed at a redefinition and enhancement of education inspired by complex systems science. The core institution for the authors is Louisiana State University. But as expressed in an Introduction by Jayne Fleener, this new approach affirms postmodern views of an inherently fluid, relative, and ultimately unpredictable nature. Even with insights into nonlinear self-organization and emergence, with an emphasis on fractal self-similarity, universal commonalities are excluded. Notable papers are Chinese Aesthetics, Fractals, and the Tao of Curriculum by Hongyu Wang, and Interrupting Frameworks by Brent Davis.

Egmond, Klaas Van. Sustainable Civilization. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. The Utrecht University geoscientist and environmentalist offers an informed contribution, but with a unique difference. Worldwide peoples, me and We, will not be motivated to achieve any ecological remediation until a common, conceptual wisdom and guide is attained in practice. The once and future project is a distillation of an ancient and modern, West and East, South and North, integral philosophy. An initial basis is a 2006 Dutch personal and public values survey as depicted in a pie chart as a yin/yang image at once vertical – materialist/idealist - and horizontal – individual/communal. Thus put, they form eternal complementarities such as feminine/masculine, self/other, earth/heaven, conservative/progressive.

An affinity of this 21st century archetype is shown with traditional belief systems, Plato, Kant, and Hegel, and later to Carl Jung, Arnold Toynbee, Rudolf Steiner, Erich Fromm, Pitirim Sorokin, Richard Tarnas, Ken Wilber and others. Might we at last from our global vantage, it is wondered, be able to meld these reciprocal quadrants into a natural, holistic unity. Such perennial guidance, so absent today, can inform an organic democracy, local/global accords, stable economies, egalitarian communities, an appropriate education, and so on. Could a deep, saving message be availed whereof this planetary and cosmic realm we awaken to, abide in, and must sustain is meant to be understood by virtue of an iconic, complementary code?

Western civilization has entered a new fundamental crisis that can be explained by a very one-sided orientation of social values based on materialism and egocentrism, which is disrupting the delicate balance between the opposing forces of 'mind' and 'matter', and of 'I' and 'the others'. Many sources – from the great works of philosophy, religion, art and culture to social surveys and the course of history – qualify sustainability as the dynamic equilibrium between fundamental opposing forces. This insight and the ethical ability to better discriminate between stabilizing and destabilizing forces would allow further justification of human rights and new institutional arrangements in society at large and, in particular, in politics, economy and finance. It would enable a sustainable civilization to flourish within the boundaries of freedom and human dignity. (Publisher)

Everard, Mark. The Ecosystems Revolution. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. The University of the West of England environmentalist and author writes a blunt, well considered, manifesto for the imperative, overdue sustainability singularity if we are not to perish. It summarizes with a Co-Creating the Symbiocene chapter which calls for a novel emphatic We community as a vital reciprocity of all the diverse Me entities. And it amazes a few years after Lynn Margulis’ 2011 passing how much nature’s actual symbiosis that she championed now has popular acceptance. But our late election was a brutal, polarizing clash of gender opposites, a fatal antithesis of me + We = US, which now denies climate change.

This book explores humanity’s relationship with the natural world throughout evolutionary history, and the need to reorient this onto a symbiotic basis. It integrates the themes of natural and artificial selection, the characteristics of historic ‘revolutions’, and directed versus random change. Inspiring community-based projects, mainly from the developing world, show how ecosystem regeneration uplifts human livelihoods in a positively reinforcing cycle, embodying lessons germane to co-creating a Symbiocene era wherein humanity’s substantial influence (the Anthropocene) achieves increasing symbiosis with the natural processes shaping the former Holocene epoch. The Ecosystems Revolution provides practical, positive examples, highlighting the attainability of an ‘ecosystems revolution’.

Fajzel, William, et al. The Global Human Day. PNAS. 120/25, 2023. Twelve public health experts posted at McGill University, Autonomous University of Barcelona, University of Paris, Weizmann Institute of Science, Columbia University, and Université de Bordeaux scholars deftly avail a daily snapshot analysis of how everybody might materially and energetically spend theit hours at work, play and else so as to compose and record a evaluative spherical measure.. See also Hoehler, Tori, et al. The Metabolic Rate of the Biosphere and its Components by Tori Hoehler, et al in PNAS (120/25, 2023).

Understanding how the global human system functions is crucial if we are to sustainably navigate planetary boundaries, adapt to rapid technological change such as artificial intelligence, and achieve global development goals. But, the vast scope and diversity of human endeavors presents a major challenge for holistic assessment. Here, we address this problem by providing a global estimate of time use by all humans, integrating economic and noneconomic data within a consistent framework. Our findings provide a bird’s eye perspective on what our species does, including how economic activities fit into the backdrop of life, and reveal activities for which there is significant potential for change. (Significance)

Ferriere, Regis, et al, eds. Evolutionary Conservation Biology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. An attempt to provide a conservation genetics, demography and ecology for a remediation of human impacts (anthropogenic) on the environment within a previously neglected evolutionary dimension.

fisher, Len, et al. Sustainability: We need to focus on overall system outcomes rather than simplistic targets.. People and Nature. January, 2024. Veteran environmental theorists LF, University of Bristol, Thilo Gross, Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity, Helmut Hillebrand, Ossietzky University, Germany; Anders Sandberg, Helmholtz Center for Marine and Polar Science, and Hiroki Sayama, SUNY Binghamton University scope out both the need to view and treat glocal Earth systems as an animate multiplex whole along with seeking working solutions guided the latest complexity realities.

Many of the global challenges that confront humanity are interlinked in a dynamic complex network, with multiple feedback loops, nonlinear interactions and interdependencies. In regard, an issue is that complex systems such as those formed by the network of global threats have emergent properties which are more than the sum of their parts. We must learn how to deal with or live with these properties if we are to find effective ways to cope with the threats, individually and collectively. Here, we argue that advances in complex systems research have enhanced our ability to analyse and model such entwined systems to the extent to offer a new approach to sustainability. (Excerpt)

Francis, George. Striving for Environmental Sustainability in a Complex World. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2016. The University of Waterloo, Ontario emeritus environmentalist draws upon Canadian efforts, which seem to be taking a lead in this remediation, from an informed basis in complex systems theory. A notable theme is a viable participatory governance through networking and guided self-organization.

Franklin, Sarah, et al. Global Nature, Global Culture. London: SAGE Publications, 2000. As a counterpoint to a technology and market driven globalization, these essays evoke feminist images of a vibrantly diverse and organically unified earth. Rather than a machine, appropriate metaphors for a life and environment-friendly planet are the unitary cell, a developing foetus and the Gaian earth system.

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