We are moving through a period of global economic transition. The new economy will favor complexity over hierarchy, and work with ecosystems and civil society, to achieve a more harmonious relationship between individuals and their environment. There are certain key points that will define this progress and build resiliency and generative capacity into the global economic system... [Read more...]
Industrialized humanity has advanced to a point where we now demand more resources than the Earth can provide. The status quo (Plan A) is not sustainable. Continued failure to correct the unsustainable practices inherent in our industrial economic model will lead to the collapse of natural support systems and the destabilization of human societies. We need an economy for the 21st century, one that is in sync with natural support systems, not destructive of them. . [Read more...]
On Tuesday, October 4, 2011, Joseph Robertson delivered the fourth Climate Talk, as a live webcast, presentation of his book, Building a Green Economy: The Economics of Carbon Pricing and the Transition to Clean, Renewable Fuels. The talk was intended to focus on the technologies and strategies that can allow for a smooth, rapid, intelligent, and prosperity-inducing transition to a clean-energy economy. [Read more...]
GreenNOVAtion is a campus-wide project to coordinate activites among faculty, students and staff working on ecological and environmental issues. A centerpiece of the campus-wide social networking project is the community blog, the Macrocosm. The blog will feature news about campus events, as well as topical discussions and links to relevant innovations and discoveries. All members are welcome to contribute.
GreenNOVAtion is a campus-wide project to coordinate activites among faculty, students and staff working on ecological and environmental issues. The GreenNOVAtion coordinator, Joseph Robertson, publishes a journal of thoughts and comments for the community. Members can keep their own journals as well, to share with other community members.
The GreenNOVAtion community is a campus-wide secure social networking project, designed to bring together in one place all of the courses, campus groups, volunteer efforts, and scientific and scholarly undertakings, related to ecology, clean energy and the environment, at Villanova University. It began operation in May 2011, and will officially launch as a campus-wide project in the fall of 2011.
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CLIMATE TALK #4: UTOPIA or OBLIVION Global solutions to a global crisis: climate justice & the science of viability
Date: April 7, 2011 @ 2:30 pm
Location: First Floor Lounge, Falvey Memorial Library
For the third ClimateTalks roundtable event of the academic year, two faculty members will present advanced analysis of the climate crisis, from the historical, ethical and scientific points of view, and we will moderate a policy debate among students working on environmental issues.
The discussion will be framed by Buckminster Fuller's admonition that our advanced industrial civilization was reaching a point where the choice between Utopia and oblivion was not only possible, but was a likely outcome of hyper-advanced "world-around" technologies, communications and commercial and political structures.
If we are in fact facing the need to provide water for 7 billion people, to secure the food supply against unprecedented stresses and a destabilized climate, if our routine consumption of basic resources is undermining the future sustainability of our civilization, what can we do?
We will examine key related questions and challengs and propose some ideas for how humanity can move forward in the midst of this complex crisis.
We often treat "the environment" as if it were an alien entity, something that surrounds us, and with which we may at times interact, but which is, somehow, separate from us. Environment does mean "surrounding medium", or the like, but what surrounds us is also, in terms of transfer of energy, surrounded by, i.e. affected by, each of us. We are individuals, but who rely for all our contacts and engagements, on the surrounding medium. There is, in effect, no closed system, and there is but one environment.
How, then, do we square this scientifically demonstrable truth with the fact of our separateness, our unique inner life, our rights as human individuals, our desire to embrace existence from a standpoint of radical freedom? Existentialism has grappled with this problem: if we are what we do, if we determine our experience by way of perceptions, drives and choices, which are all actions toward a reality we construct, then why should there be any commitment to the Other? [Read more...]
For the 2011 Freedom School Sessions, I have the privilege of hosting a seminar discussion on the themes and concepts from my essay "Environment is Consequence". The argument is not that we are free of responsibility for environmental impacts, but rather that everything we do helps to shape and determine what will occur in the wider environment. We are the environment, and the environment lives within us as much as it does outside our bodies and our minds. [Read more...]
At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, in the First Floor Lounge of Villanova’s Falvey Memorial Library, Joseph Robertson (Romance Languages & Literature), Sally Scholz (Philosophy), John Olson (Biology) and Chaone Mallory (Philosophy), will participate in an interdisciplinary discussion of the most complex scientific and public-policy challenge of our times: the destabilization of global climate patterns and the means by which an entire civilization can address the mounting crisis.
Securing our economy and environment against the corrosive impacts of burning carbon-based fuels will require a concerted nationwide effort, rooted in sound policy and bold incentives, to steer the nation’s energy markets toward more sustainable, clean and renewable resources for power generation. This event will address the economic, political and technological dynamics of that process, as well as issues of political solidarity and environmental justice. [Read more...]