Cooperating for the climate / Columns / The Foreigner

Cooperating for the climate. Humanity is harming Earth. We have extensive scientific knowledge showing the wide variety of severe environmental problems humanity has created. Climate change is at the top of the list. Concerted action is lacking, despite this physical science knowledge. Social sciences and the humanities can explain why. We can then move forward to act for sustainability. The Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere (MAHB), for which I lead the Norway group, is working towards understanding how to solve our sustainability problems. MAHB is pronounced “mob”, as in a group of people which in this case seeks sustainability.

norwayclimate, climatechange, greenhousegases, co2



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Cooperating for the climate

Published on Saturday, 15th June, 2013 at 14:01 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.

Humanity is harming Earth. We have extensive scientific knowledge showing the wide variety of severe environmental problems humanity has created. Climate change is at the top of the list.

The sun's sustainability power
The sun's sustainability power
Photo: Ilan Kelman


Concerted action is lacking, despite this physical science knowledge. Social sciences and the humanities can explain why. We can then move forward to act for sustainability.

The Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere (MAHB), for which I lead the Norway group, is working towards understanding how to solve our sustainability problems. MAHB is pronounced “mob”, as in a group of people which in this case seeks sustainability.

Understanding human behaviour is the key. What has caused our species to be so environmentally destructive? What is needed to shift towards sustainability pathways?

MAHB’s approach is to integrate physical science, social science, and the humanities to answer these questions. Research topics cover how individual and collective behaviour leads to environmentally damaging activities. How to make changes to our behaviour, and the cultural and institutional opportunities and challenges for orientating society towards solving climate change and other threats to sustainability, is also covered.

The key is not just generating new knowledge through science. It is also moving beyond scientific publication, to determine how to use and apply our knowledge for supporting sustainability-related behaviour and values.

There are many examples. Individuals make transportation choices, such as flying and driving. Organisations make decisions about offering environmentally friendly products and services, including carbon offsets. Wider governance decisions by people and through politics are made about industry subsidies and education curricula.

At the same time, commitment to tackling sustainability challenges, through integrating all knowledge and skills offered by the collective is needed. Everyone needs to be fully engaged and collaborate to achieve change in behaviour and social values needed for sustainability,

That will help both the planet, and us.

Dr. Ilan Kelman is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo (CICERO).



Published on Saturday, 15th June, 2013 at 14:01 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.

This post has the following tags: norwayclimate, climatechange, greenhousegases, co2.





  
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