Harder, Faster, Stronger – How Financial Markets are Shaping the Biosphere

Should ecologists and sustainability scientists care about financial markets? The answer is a loud and resounding “yes”, and I’m delighted to finally be able to share our latest article published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution yesterday, co-authored with colleagues Johan Gars, Fredrik Moberg, Björn Nykvist and Cecilia Repinski. The article not only shows how financial […]

Critically reflecting on social-ecological systems research

Guest post from Simon West, Diego Galafassi, Jamila Haider, Andres Marin, Andrew Merrie, Daniel Ospina-Medina, Caroline Schill Critical reflection is a core competence for sustainability researchers and a crucial mechanism through which research evolves and breaks new ground. For instance, Lance Gunderson and C.S. Holling stress in the canonical social-ecological systems (SES) book Panarchy that SES […]

Classics of Social Science 1: Karl Marx the first ecological sociologist?

Guest post by Simon West: Reflections on Week Two of the Resilience Research School PhD course, ‘Why Bother with Durkheim? Using (classical) social science to understand the social dynamics of social-ecological systems.  (previously Week One – why study classics). There is almost certainly no social scientist whose reputation precedes them as much as Karl Marx. […]

Why bother with Durkheim? Using (classical) social science to understand the social dynamics of social-ecological systems

Reflections on a PhD Course at the Resilience Research School, Thursday 30th January A guest post form Simon West, from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, at Stockholm University.  This Thursday we began a new 5-week PhD course at the Resilience Research School (RRS). “Why bother with Durkheim?’ will introduce PhD students at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) to some […]

A “Planetary Boundaries” Straw-Man

Update:  I work at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, headed by Johan Rockström and Carl Folke. The opinions reflected here are my own, and not the organizations. The notion of “planetary boundaries” and its potential policy implications, are without doubt worth discussing. But the last blogpost by Roger Pielke Jr. (professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, as […]

A Planet without Humans? Two Short Reflections on “Does the terrestrial biosphere have planetary tipping points?”

Are “planetary tipping points” likely? Trends in Ecology and Evolution recently published a very thought provoking article by Brooks et al. that challenges the notion of abrupt global threshold change. In the authors’ own words, we are likely to experience “[…] relatively ‘smooth changes at the global scale, without an expectation of marked tipping patterns.” “Planetary […]

Resilience Alliance & the Integration of Social and Natural Science in Global Change Research

In a new paper Evolution of natural and social science interactions in global change research programs in PNAS (doi:10.1073/pnas.1107484110), Harold A. Mooney, Anantha Duraiappah, & Anne Larigauderie look back on the history of the integration of Social and Natural Science in global change research and relate this history, the barriers overcome, and the lessons learned […]

Forty years of Limits to Growth

The first presentation of the influential environmentalist book Limits to Growth was on March 1 in 1972 at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, four decades ago. The study was both hugely influential and hugely controversial, and the authors were quite strongly attacked, often for analytical flaws that their study never said or did.  However, after […]