An Overview of Climate Change: What does it mean for our way of life? What is the best future we can hope for?

This paper starts with the question of whether climate change will require a significant reduction of consumption among the richer people in the world, and ends with the most optimistic picture the author can conjure up, of the world in the year 2075. That hopeful picture is of a world in which inequalities – among and within nations – have been substantially reduced. The challenges and adjustments confronting humanity in the coming decades provide an opportunity that could be used to mitigate climate change in ways that can improve the circumstances of the poor. Ecological reasons to reduce throughput of energy and materials in economic systems urge the abandonment of high-consumption life-styles. The 21st century will be an era of many losses, but it is conceivable that societies will successfully make the transition from goals of economic growth, as understood in the 20th century, to goals of maintaining and increasing sustainable well-being.


Issue Date:
2008-03
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/37711
Total Pages:
37
Series Statement:
Working Paper
08-01




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-25

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