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Environment At The Crossroads

Edited by Emilio Rui Vilar

Foreword by Emílio Rui Vilar

No Text
Series: Gulbenkian Foundation Publications
Categories: 21st Century
Imprint: Aspects of Portugal
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (206 pages)
(Pub. Aug 2010)
Out of Stock
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Editor
  • Contents
  • Contributors:

    Emílio Rui Vilar 
    Viriato Soromenho-Marques
    Sir David King
    Miguel Bastos Araújo
    Pedro Arrojo Agudo
    José Lima Santos
    Gilles Lipovetsky
    Allan Larsson
    Malina Mehra
    Pedro Martins Barata
    Julie Packard
    Nitin Desai
    Alex Ellis
    Miranda Schreurs
    Jonathon Porritt
    Environment at the Crossroads, the theme of the 2009 Gulbenkian Conference, addresses the most urgent crisis confronting the world today, in its four essential aspects:
    How deeply is the current economic malaise rooted in failing systems? Do we have the global capacity to provide ecological services, or the institutional capacity to reduce poverty and promote stability and peace?
    How critical is the state of the global environment? What are the implications of new scientific insights into the decline of biodiversity, the possible breakdown of major ecosystems, and the likelihood of dramatic changes caused by ecological tipping points?
    How can we reshape the economic system in order to renew the social fabric and move towards a more environmentally friendly way of life?
    How can we develop new policies to mobilise creativity and ingenuity? What institutions are needed to tackle global problems, to encourage co-operation and promote long-term synergies and strategic goals?

    As individuals and as societies, we are living in dangerous and challenging times. The 2009 Gulbenkian Conference in Lisbon, ‘Environmentat the Crossroads: Aiming for a Sustainable Future’, was designed to address the crucial issues we face, from the current international economic malaise tothe state of the global environment. Anticipating the 2009 United Nations Copenhagen Conference, the conference papers collected in Environment at the Crossroads engage with climate change, biodiversity, environmental policy and the ethics of consumption. The writers are leaders in the fields of science, politics, economics and environmental studies whose intellectual clarity offers authoritative responses to the crisis we face.

    Incorporating a range of disciplines and international perspectives, Environment at the Crossroads is an ambitious survey of the state of our planet today, and the urgent necessity to work towards a fair and strong international climate agreement.Only then will humanity be able to harness the creativity and ingenuity necessary to make the transition towards sustainability. What is at stake is nothing less than the quest for survival.

    Drawing on a range of disciplines, the authors explore the issues within a wide framework encompassing social, ethical and scientific issues. 

        Emílio Rui Vilar    

    Introduction: Environmental Crisis?
    Do We Know What We Are Talking About?
        Viriato Soromenho-Marques    

    Notes on Contributors    

    Climate Change as a Global Shifting Force
        David King    

    Has Biodiversity a Future?
        Miguel Bastos Araújo    

    The Ethical Challenge of Sustainability in Water Management
        Pedro Arrojo Agudo    

    The Environmental Crisis and the Future of Agriculture
        José Lima Santos    

    Hyper-consumer Society and Happiness
        Gilles Lipovetsky    

    Europe, the USA and China after the Crisis:
    Towards New Growth Models for Sustainability?
        Allan Larsson    

    Citizen Action on Climate Change and Sustainable Development
        Malini Mehra    

    Emissions Trading Schemes and the Future of the Carbon Economy
        Pedro Martins Barata    

    Charting a Course for the Future of the Oceans:
    Present State and Future Perspectives
        Julie Packard    

    Governance for Sustainability
        Nitin Desai    

    Climate Change: The Perspective from Europe
        Alex Ellis    

    Climate Change Politics under Barack Obama
        Miranda Schreurs    

    Prospects for a Sustainable Future
        Jonathon Porritt    

    Conference Programme    


    Emilio Rui Vilar was born in Oporto in1939. He graduated in law from Coimbra University in 1961 and has been President of the Board of Trustees of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation since May 2002. He is also President of the Portuguese Foundation Centre and Chairman of the European Foundation Centre. Since ... read more
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