Group Report: Millennial Perspectives on the Dynamic Interaction of Climate, People, and Resources

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Sustainability or Collapse? An Integrated History and Future of People on Earth


MIT Press, Cambridge

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The dynamic interactions between human societies and their environments are best understood from a perspective that accounts for long-term patterns and processes and addresses questions from an integrated, often interdisciplinary, perspective on human societies and biophysical environments. As proposed by the Earth System Science Partnership/International Council for Science to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg 2002, the development of a science for sustainability will require the development of a long-term perspective. "Archives from the past - e.g., ice cores, coral cores, tree rings, archaeological and historical records - must be studied more vigorously to provide paths of change, baseline conditions, insights into past societal resilience or fragility and perspectives on projections of future change" (ICSU 2002, p. 2).

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