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

The Century Ahead: Searching for Sustainability

* ,
 and
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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Abstract

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 which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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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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