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Sustainability 2010, 2(8), 2626-2651; doi:10.3390/su2082626

The Century Ahead: Searching for Sustainability

Tellus Institute, 11 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 July 2010 / Revised: 12 August 2010 / Accepted: 17 August 2010 / Published: 20 August 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Futures)
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The global future lies before us as a highly uncertain and contested landscape with numerous perils along the way. This study explores possible pathways to sustainability by considering in quantitative detail four contrasting scenarios for the twenty-first century. The analysis reveals vividly the risks of conventional development approaches and the real danger of socio-ecological descent. Nonetheless, the paper underscores that a Great Transition scenario—turning toward a civilization of enhanced human well-being and environmental resilience—remains an option, and identifies a suite of strategic and value changes for getting there. A fundamental shift in the development paradigm is found to be an urgent necessity for assuring a sustainable future and, as well, a hopeful opportunity for creating a world of enriched lives, human amity, and a healthy ecosphere.
Keywords: sustainability; scenarios; global; simulation; development; climate; energy; water; hunger; agriculture sustainability; scenarios; global; simulation; development; climate; energy; water; hunger; agriculture

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Raskin, P.D.; Electris, C.; Rosen, R.A. The Century Ahead: Searching for Sustainability. Sustainability 2010, 2, 2626-2651.

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