Making Sense of Local Sustainability

Chapter
Part of the The International Society of Business, Economics, and Ethics Book Series book series (ISBEE, volume 4)

Abstract

What does it mean to live sustainably at the local level? How can we assess whether our local behaviors to try and live sustainably make sense when looked at in the broader global setting? In this chapter, we use Ecological Footprint Analysis to help find answers to these questions. A series of tests are presented that assess local Footprint Analysis data in terms of a global sustainability goal. The South Australian setting is used as a case study. The discussion also explores how the standard Footprint Analysis data presents an overly optimistic picture of humanity’s use of the Earth’s renewable natural resources and argues for an alternate view of these data. The alternate data show that the extent to which humanity is exploiting the Earth’s renewable natural resources in excess of what it is safe to do is much greater than the standard data reveal. This has significant implications for how we assess local sustainability in the global context.

Keywords

Sustainable world Footprint Analysis Ecological Footprint South Australia 

References

  1. ABS. (2009a). Births, Australia, 2008: State and territory—total fertility rate. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.Google Scholar
  2. ABS. (2009b). Births, Australia, 2008; Births as a component of population growth. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.Google Scholar
  3. Andersson, J. O., & Lindroth, M. (2001). Ecologically unsustainable trade. Ecological Economics, 37(1), 113–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bagliani, M., Gallic, A., Niccoluccic, V., & Marchettinic, N. (2008). Ecological footprint analysis applied to a sub-national area: The case of the Province of Siena (Italy). Journal of Environmental Management, 86, 354–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barry, B. (2003). Sustainability and intergenerational justice (reproduced from “Theoria” 1997). In A. Light & H. Rolston (Eds.), Environmental ethics (pp. 487–499). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  6. Bell, M. M. (2009). An invitation to environmental sociology. Los Angeles: Pine Forage Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bodian, S. (1995). Simple in means, rich in ends: An interview with Arne Naess. In G. Sessions (Ed.), Deep ecology for the 21st century. Boston: Shambhala.Google Scholar
  8. Boyden, S. (2001). Nature, society, history and social change. Innovation: The European Journal of Social Sciences, 14(2), 103–116.Google Scholar
  9. Chertow, M. R. (2000). The IPAT equation and its variants. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 4(4), 13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Clifton, D. (2010a). Representing a sustainable world—a typology approach. Journal of Sustainable Development, 3(2), 40–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clifton, D. (2010b). A sustainable-world—the local in terms of the global: An ecological footprint analysis perspective. Journal of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Accountability, 16(3), 4–30.Google Scholar
  12. Clifton, D. (2010c). A sustainable world-an ecological footprint and I = PAT perspective. Journal of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Accountability, 16(2), 3–26.Google Scholar
  13. Clifton, D. (2011). Progressing a sustainable world—a case study of the South Australian government. Journal of Sustainable Development, 4(1), 3–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Collins, A., Flynn, A., Wiedmann, T., & Barrett, J. (2006). The environmental impacts of consumption at a subnational level. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 10(3, Summer), 9–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Connelly, M. (2008). Fatal misconception. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Daly, H. E. (1996). Beyond growth: The economics of sustainable development. Boston: Beacon.Google Scholar
  17. Daly, H., & Farley, J. (2004). Ecological economics: Principles and applications. Washington: Island Press.Google Scholar
  18. Diamond, J. (2005). Collapse: How societies choose to fail or survive. Victoria: Penguin.Google Scholar
  19. Diesendorf, M. (1997). Principles of ecological sustainability. In M. Diesendorf & C. Hamilton (Eds.), Human ecology, human economy (pp. 64–97). Sydney: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  20. Dietz, S., & Neumayer, E. (2007). Weak and strong sustainability in the SEEA: Concepts and measurement. Ecological Economics, 61(4), 617–626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ehrlich, P. R., & Ehrlich, A. H. (Eds.). (2008). The dominant animal. Washington: Island Press.Google Scholar
  22. Footprint Network. (2006). Ecological footprint standards 2006. The Footprint Network: Global Footprint Network Standards Committees.Google Scholar
  23. Footprint Network. (2008). The ecological footprint-questions and answers.  http://www.footprintnetwork.org/gfn_sub.php?content=faq#rp. Accessed 29 July 2008
  24. Footprint Network. (2010a). Ecological footprint. Footprint Network web site: http://www.footprintnetwork.org/.
  25. Footprint Network. (2010b). Ecological footprint and biocapacity-2010 release. Footprint Network.Google Scholar
  26. Gare, A. (2000). The postmodernism of deep ecology, the deep ecology of postmodernism, and grand narratives. In E. Katz, A. Light & S. Rothenberg (Eds.), Beneath the surface: Critical essays in the philosophy of deep ecology. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  27. Gibson, R. B. (2001). Specification of sustainability-based environmental assessment decision criteria and implications for determining “Significance” in environmental assessment. Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Research and Development Programme.Google Scholar
  28. Giljum, S., Hammer, M., Stocker, A., Lackner, M., Best, A., Blobel, D., & Shmelev, S. (2007). Scientific assessment and evaluation of the indicator “Ecological Footprint”. Environmental research of the federal ministry of the environment, nature conservation and nuclear safety. Research Report 363 01 135, UBA-FB 001089/E.Google Scholar
  29. Gladwin, T. N., Kennelly, J. J., & Krause, T.-S. (1995). Shifting paradigms for sustainable development: Implications for management theory and research. Academy of Management Review, 20(4), 874–907.Google Scholar
  30. Gould, K. A., & Lewis, T. L. (2009). The paradoxes of sustainable development. In K. A. Gould & T. L. Lewis (Eds.), Twenty lessons in environmental sociology (pp. 269–289). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Handmer, J. W., & Dovers, S. R. (1996). A typology of resilience: Rethinking institutions for sustainable development. Industrial and Environmental Crisis Quarterly, 9(4), 482–511.Google Scholar
  32. Hargrove, E. C. (2003). Weak anthropocentric intrinsic value (reproduced from “The Monist”, 1992). In A. Light & H. Rolston (Eds.), Environmental ethics (pp. 175–190). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  33. Holbrook, D. (2009). The consequentialist side of environmental ethics (reprint of Daniel Holbrook, ‘Consequentialist Side of Environmental Ethics’, in Environmental Values, 6, 1997, pp. 87–96). In M. Reynolds, C. Blackmore, & M. J. Smith (Eds.), The environmental responsibility reader. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  34. Holdren, J. P., Daily, G. C., & Ehrlich, P. R. (1995). The meaning of sustainability: Biogeophysical aspects. Washington, D.C.: United Nations University and The World Bank.Google Scholar
  35. Kitzes, J. (2007). A research agenda for improving National ecological Footprint accounts. Paper presented at the International Ecological Footprint Conference: Stepping Up the Pace-New Developments in Ecological Footprint Methodology, Policy and Practice, 8–10 May 2007, Cardiff.Google Scholar
  36. Laferriere, E., & Stoett, P. J. (Eds.). (2006). International ecopolitical theory: Critical approaches. Vancouver: UBC Press.Google Scholar
  37. Lenzen, M., & Murray, S. A. (2001). A modified ecological footprint method and its application to Australia. Ecological Economics, 37(2), 229–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Light, A., & Rolston, H. (2003). Introduction: Ethics and environmental ethics. In Environmental ethics (pp. 1–11). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  39. Manderson, A. K. (2006). A systems based framework to examine the multi-contextual application of the sustainability concept. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 8, 85–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. McLaren, D. (2003). Environmental space, equity and ecological debt. In J. Agyeman, R. D. Bullard, & B. Evans (Eds.), Just sustainabilities: Development in an unequal world. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  41. McLaughlin, A. (1995). The heart of deep ecology. In G. Sessions (Ed.), Deep ecology for the 21st century. Boston: Shambhala.Google Scholar
  42. Meadows, D. H., Randers, J., & Meadows, D. (2004). Limits to growth: The 30-year update. White River Junction: Chelsea Green.Google Scholar
  43. Naess, A. (1988). Sustainable development and the deep long-range ecology movement. The Trumpeter, 5(4), 138–142.Google Scholar
  44. Naess, A. (2003). The deep ecological movement: Some philosophical aspects (reproduced from “Philosophical Inquiry” 1986). In A. Light & H. Rolston (Eds.), Environmental ethics (pp. 262–274). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  45. Nijkamp, P., Rossi, E., & Vindigni, G. (2004). Ecological footprints in plural: A meta-analytic comparison of empirical results. Regional Studies, 38(7), 747–765.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Nordhaus, T., & Shellenberger, M. (2007). Break through: From the death of environmentalism to the politics of possibility. New York: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  47. Norton, B. G. (2003). Environmental ethics and weak anthropocentrism (reproduced from “Environmental Ethics”, 1984). In A. Light & H. Rolston (Eds.), Environmental ethics (pp. 163–174). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  48. Osorio, L. A., Lobato, M. O., & Castillo, X. (2005). Debates on sustainable development: Towards a holistic view of reality. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 7, 501–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Palmer, C. (2003). An overview of environmental ethics. In A. Light & H. Rolston (Eds.), Environmental ethics (pp. 15–37). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  50. SA-EDB. (2003). A framework for economic development in South Australia. South Australia’s Economic Development Board.Google Scholar
  51. SAG (2004a). Prosperity through people—a population policy for South Australia. Adelaide, South Australian Government, March 2004.Google Scholar
  52. SAG. (2004b). South Australia’s strategic plan—summary of targets 2004. South Australian Government, March 2004.Google Scholar
  53. SAG. (2006a). Planning strategy for metropolitan Adelaide. South Australian Government, Aug 2006.Google Scholar
  54. SAG. (2006b). South Australia’s Ecological Footprint. SA Government: Sustainability and Climate Change Division of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, May 2006.Google Scholar
  55. SAG. (2007a). Climate change. Premier Rann Speech to the Business SA Climate Change Presentation. Adelaide, 5 Sept 2007.Google Scholar
  56. SAG. (2007b). Fact sheet: A summary of government of South Australia sustainability and climate change initiatives. South Australian Government, Oct 2007.Google Scholar
  57. SAG. (2007c). South Australia’s strategic plan 2007. SA Government, Jan 2007.Google Scholar
  58. SAG. (2008). South Australia’s state strategic plan—target fact sheets 2008. South Australian Government, Adelaide. http://www.saplan.org.au/. Accessed 28 Feb 2009.
  59. SAG. (2011). South Australia’s strategic plan 2011. SA Government, Sept 2011.Google Scholar
  60. Schlosberg, D. (2007). Defining environmental justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Simpson, R. W., Petroeschevsky, A., & Lowe, I. (2000). An ecological footprint analysis for Australia. Australian Journal of Environmental Management, 7, 11–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Speth, J. G. (2005). Red sky at morning. Yale: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  63. Taylor, P. (1989). Respect for nature. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  64. UN. (1992a). Convention on biological diversity. United Nations.Google Scholar
  65. UN. (1992b). Rio declaration on environment and development. 3–14 June 2004.Google Scholar
  66. UN. (2008). World population policies 2007. New York: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs-Population Division.Google Scholar
  67. Wackernagel, M., & Yount, D. (1998). The ecological footprint: An indicator of progress toward regional sustainability. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 51(1-2), 511–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. WCED. (1987). Our common future: World commission on environment and development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  69. Williams, C. C., & Millington, A. C. (2004). The diverse and contested meanings of sustainable development. Geographical Journal, 170(2), 99–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Wissenburg, M. (2001). Dehierarachization and sustainable development in liberal and non-liberal societies. Global Environmental Politics, 1(2), 95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. York, R., Rosa, E. A., & Dietz, T. (2003). STIRPAT, IPAT and ImPACT: Analytic tools for unpacking the driving forces of environmental impacts. Ecological Economics, 46(3), 351–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Graduate School of BusinessUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations