Abstract: There is a deficit of multi-site studies examining the integration of sustainability in the policies and practices of post-secondary institutions. This paper reviews what comparative empirical research has been undertaken on sustainability in post-secondary education (PSE) within eight leading international journals publishing on sustainability and education. Three predominant themes of research on the topic are identified within the review: research comparing sustainability curricula across institutions (both within specific disciplines of study and across disciplines); research comparing campus operations policies and practice across multiple institutions; and research on how to best measure or audit approaches and outputs in sustainability in PSE. This review of the research literature supports the contention within the literature on sustainability in PSE that most research on the topic is focused on case studies rather than comparison of multiple institutions. The comparative research that is emerging from the field is concentrated on assessing measurable outputs for environmental externalities within institutional operations, with little examination of sustainability uptake and outcomes across broader institutional policies and practices.
Abstract: Through the issue of pesticide management in Belgium, this article offers an empirical and conceptual grasp on what Ulrich Beck called the second-order reflexive modernity; that which is exercised among citizens when they are confronted with threatening and uncertain situations. To achieve this, we use two case studies of two public policy instruments, which we offer to the public for discussion: food product labelling, and the modelling of toxic effects linked to pesticide use. To this end, we organised two focus groups designed to encourage discussion, composed of citizens/practitioners. The results obtained plead in favour of a collective deconstruction-reconstruction of these tools and can lead to what we propose calling a “pragmatic collective interest.” This “pragmatic collective interest” can take the form of a new set-up or new associations that enable the coexistence of conflicting propositions and points of view, and a suspension of efforts to hierarchize causes and required solutions.
Abstract: Shale gas proponents argue this unconventional fossil fuel offers a “bridge” towards a cleaner energy system by offsetting higher-carbon fuels such as coal. The technical feasibility of reconciling shale gas development with climate action remains contested. However, we here argue that governance challenges are both more pressing and more profound. Reconciling shale gas and climate action requires institutions capable of responding effectively to uncertainty; intervening to mandate emissions reductions and internalize costs to industry; and managing the energy system strategically towards a lower carbon future. Such policy measures prove challenging, particularly in jurisdictions that stand to benefit economically from unconventional fuels. We illustrate this dilemma through a case study of shale gas development in British Columbia, Canada, a global leader on climate policy that is nonetheless struggling to manage gas development for mitigation. The BC case is indicative of the constraints jurisdictions face both to reconcile gas development and climate action, and to manage the industry adequately to achieve social licence and minimize resistance. More broadly, the case attests to the magnitude of change required to transform our energy systems to mitigate climate change.
Abstract: The objective of this questionnaire study was to investigate how Swedish adolescents (n = 321) cope with climate change and how different coping strategies are associated with environmental efficacy, pro-environmental behavior, and subjective well-being. The results were compared to an earlier study on 12-year-olds, and the same coping strategies, problem-focused coping, de-emphasizing the seriousness of the threat, and meaning-focused coping, were identified. As in the study on children, problem-focused and meaning-focused coping were positively related to felt efficacy and environmental behavior, while de-emphasizing the threat was negatively related to these measures. As expected, the more problem-focused coping the adolescents used, the more likely it was that they experienced negative affect in everyday life. This association was explained by the tendency for highly problem-focused adolescents to worry more about climate change. In contrast, meaning-focused coping was positively related to both well-being and optimism. When controlling for well-known predictors such as values and gender, meaning-focused and problem-focused coping were independent positive predictors of environmental efficacy and pro-environmental behavior, while de-emphasizing the threat was a negative predictor of pro-environmental behavior. The results are discussed in relation to coping theories and earlier studies on coping with climate change.
Abstract: This article is about the work of museums in constructing the intangible cultural heritage of migration and diasporas. I address the cultural dimension of sustainability and examine what happens to living traditions in migratory contexts, in particular, in contexts of international migrations, and consider different participatory approaches used by museums. I propose that collaborative projects drawing upon the principles of ecomuseology and what I describe as participation by endowment may provide new ways of involving groups of immigrant background. I limit the discussion to questions tied to the intangible cultural heritage of migration to Europe and argue that by recording, documenting, safeguarding and keeping the intangible heritage of diasporas alive, museums contribute in promoting self-esteem among these populations and social cohesion in society.
Abstract: The increasing pressure on the earth’s resources due to population growth requires that development and resource use be managed to maintain a sustainable environment so as to preserve or enhance human well-being. A practical approach for demonstrating the environmental sustainability of an action (e.g., green business practice) through ecosystem service analysis is presented. The overarching premise of the approach is that human well-being is directly related to changes in ecosystems and associated services. The approach evaluates the net change in ecosystem services, and hence human well-being, and is termed a net ecosystem service analysis (NESA). Using this approach, if a net positive change in ecosystem services relative to the baseline condition occurs for an action, that action would be considered potentially sustainable. In addition, if an action creates net ecosystem service value above the baseline condition, it would be considered to embody environmental stewardship. Established ecological and human use quantification methods are incorporated into the analysis. In addition, to demonstrate potential sustainability, the approach must also consider the need to satisfy intergenerational equity objectives. The use of a practical approach from which private business and government representatives can make decisions regarding environmental sustainability and stewardship will provide for improved decision-making based on quantifiable metrics.