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Managing Complexity

Earth Systems and Strategies for the Future

Walter R. Erdelen Jacques G. Richardson



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04 March 2020
Managing Complexity: Earth Systems and Strategies for the Future introduces and explores systems and complexity in relation to near-synchronous world and environmental problems. These relate to but are not limited to water, biological diversity, worldwide climate change, trade and conflict, global migration and the quest for sustainable development. Complemented by discussion of the new era of the Anthropocene, its many manifestations, and Earth system properties such as planetary boundaries and tipping points this book offers practical suggestions for how a sustainable future for humanity can be realised.

Specifically discussed in Managing Complexity: Earth Systems and Strategies for the Future are innovation, education and capacity building, application of the natural and social sciences and new paths towards sustainability based on industrial development and engineering, as well as in diplomacy and foreign aid. The book's conclusions discuss the ambitious yet vital reforms the authors propose as routes to a sustainable existence. This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of sustainability, sustainable development and complexity theory.
By:   Walter R. Erdelen, Jacques G. Richardson
Imprint:   Routledge
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 156mm, 
Weight:   526g
ISBN:   9780367500443
ISBN 10:   0367500442
Series:   Routledge Studies in Sustainability
Pages:   282
Publication Date:   04 March 2020
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Further / Higher Education
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
West Science vs. East (Gan Fuxi); Optical Science and Technology in China in the First Half of 20th Century (Gan Fuxi); The Cradle of the Contemporary Optics in China (Gan Fuxi); The History of Research and Development of Optical Glass in China (Gan Fuxi); Birth and Early Development of Lasers in China (Gan Fuxi); Laser ABM - One of the Strategic Defense Means in Early Time (Gan Fuxi); Memory of the Early Days - Quantum Electronics Research in the Institute of Electronics (Lin Fucheng); Chinese Laser Research Opened to the World (Gan Fuxi); Breakthroughs and Development of Semiconductor Lasers in China (Wang Qiming and Huang Yong-Zhen); Development of the Solid State Laser Materials in China (Gan Fuxi); Development of High Power Lasers in China (Fan Dianyuan); Establishment of the Daheng Company - A Pioneering Work of Chinese Scientific and Technological System Reform (Gan Fuxi); National 863 High Technology Program Promoted the Development of Optoelectronics in China (Gan Fuxi); Open Up the Optical Information Storage Technology in China (Gan Fuxi); Progress of Optical Communications in China - Fragments of Personal Reminiscences (Fang Zujie); The Course of Development of Astronomical Optical Instruments (Pan Junhua); Infra Red Optics Research and Application in Satellite Monitoring (Xue Yongqi); High Speed Imaging and Monitoring Research and Development (Hou Xun); Research on Laser Cooling and Time Standard in Optical Wavelength Range (Wang Yuzhu); Industrial Development of Optical Instruments in China (Zhuang Songlin).

Walter R. Erdelen is an ecologist and biogeographer with extensive international experience. Development of vision, concepts and strategies, targeted capacity building and networking have been essentials of his policy-related scientific work. He was previously Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Jacques G. Richardson is an author and journalist concentrating on the sciences and engineering, and has also worked extensively in strategic analysis and planning. He spent 13 years at UNESCO as head of its Science and Society Section.

Reviews for Managing Complexity: Earth Systems and Strategies for the Future

The complexity of complexity - the authors reveal how the system components interact in multiple, interdependent ways. They develop a picture on how Homo sapiens in our age of the Anthropocene crosses thresholds of Earth's safe-operating space for humanity, describing the disastrous impact of Homo faber on climate, water, biodiversity, migration or international relations. Solutions and loopholes, emphasizing the importance of education, science, technology and innovation, make the book a must to read. - Walter J. Ammann, Founder, Global Risk Forum GRF Davos Control of complexity is the central parameter of evolution. Extremely long, error-free messages are needed for control. Science is humanity's best means for such messages and is thus the sine qua non of power in the 21st century, as this book shows. - Jesse Ausubel, Director, Human Environment Project, Rockefeller University, USA The scale and scope of Erdelen's and Richardson's book is truly remarkable. Tracing the impact of human activity on the planet's complex ecosystem and the resulting environmental problems, their broad and interdisciplinary systems approach embraces both history and foresight. The resulting linked, insightful essays culminate in the key question for the future of Homo sapiens: Do we have the ability to moderate our behavior so that we live with more measured consumption while continuing to reap considerable rewards from education, science and industry? - Colin Blackman, Centre for European Policy Studies; Editor of Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance; Former Editor of Futures, and foresight Science must be an essential component of any effective strategy leading to sustainable development. As the authors emphasize, science clears the mind, sobers our views and leads to robust decisions. Wise counsel from the UN's new Scientific Advisory Board should help member nations prioritize the most important challenges ahead. Science thus assumes a major role in solving global and interlinked problems related inter alia to poverty, food security and public health, water management, and biological diversity. - Vladimir Y. Fortov, Russian Academy of Sciences This book is much needed today to help us understand the complexity of the challenges facing all Earth's inhabitants. It advances solutions to learning how to live in harmony with Nature and with each other. Erdelen and Richardson bring years of experience to a survey which should be required reading for everyone working on the quest for sustainability. - Julia Marton-Lefevre, former Director-General, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Two international investigators, a social scientist and a life scientist with extensive leadership experience in UNESCO, take a well-researched new look at the human stance in a world of growing complexity and risk of existence. The authors unravel human pursuit in exploiting nature as one root of growing disharmony in human/environment relationship, up to present-day global climate change, massive migration and loss of biodiversity. Core chapters highlight education, science and philosophy (especially ethics) as key tools to combat, should humankind ... sustain its further development. This compact, highly-readable and challenging book will deserve a wide and receptive audience. - Kurt Pawlik, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of Hamburg, Germany; former President, International Social Science Council We have entered the sustainable development decade where to achieve the desired goal, we should examine every programme from the point of view of social and economic and environmental sustainability. I am glad that this book brings out very clearly the complexity of the world problems and the strategies to face them. I hope the book will be read widely. - Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, Founder Chairman, M.S. Swaminathan Foundation An excellent book about complex systems, written by two old hands of UNESCO - Wolfgang Werner in Erdkunde 73 (2) 2019, 156

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