Sustainability Science

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Cambridge University Press, Dec 17, 2012 - Business & Economics - 590 pages
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Sustainable development is becoming the guiding principle for the 21st century. This textbook - based on the author's course and rigorously class-tested by his students - provides an introduction into patterns of past and present (un)sustainable development and into the emergence of the notion of sustainable development. It systematically surveys the key concepts, models and findings of the various scientific disciplines with respect to the major sustainability issues: energy, nature, agro-food and resource systems, and economic growth. System analysis and modelling is introduced and used as an integrating tool. Stories and worldviews are used to connect the quantitative and the qualitative and to offer the reader an understanding of relevant trends and events in context. Sustainability Science is an ideal textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate level courses in sustainable development and in environmental and resource science and policy.
 

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Contents

The System Dynamics Perspective
14
Past Civilisations
54
The Great Acceleration
84
Concerns Definitions Indicators
117
On Values Knowledge and Worldviews
146
Energy Fundamentals
179
1 The SteadyState MassEnergy Equation
213
1 A Brief History of Complex Systems Science
242
AgroFood Systems
339
Water Fish and Forest
379
The Industrial Economy
425
Towards a Sustainable Economy?
472
Outlook on Futures
516
Glossary
537
References
561
Index
585

Human Populations and Human Behaviour
296

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About the author (2012)

Bert J. M. de Vries is co-founder and member of the Institute for Energy and Environment (IVEM) at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, where he received his Ph.D. on sustainable resource use. Since 1990 he has been a senior scientist at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL, formerly MNP and RIVM). He has been actively involved in modelling and scenario construction for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Since 2003 he has also been a Professor of Global Change and Energy at Utrecht University in The Netherlands. His research expertise and publications are in resource and energy analysis, modelling and policy; climate and global change modelling; and complex systems modelling for sustainable development. He has co-edited several books, including Perspectives on Global Change: The TARGETS Approach (1997, Cambridge University Press) and Mappae Mundi: Humans and their Habitats in a Long-Term Socio-Ecological Perspective (2002, Amsterdam University Press).

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