SYMP 22 - Global Perspectives of Earth Stewardship

Friday, August 12, 2011: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center
Organizer: Robert A. Dyball
Co-organizers: Erle Ellis and Amy Freitag
Moderator: Robert A. Dyball
Concepts such as Earth Stewardship must assume that human individuals and groups can rationally choose to change their behavior, and thus their environmental impacts, under certain conditions of knowledge and judgments about prudence and within the ethical framework that they aspire to match, assuming that they have the means. This symposium draws together speakers from across a number of disciplines to improve understanding of the processes driving or constraining such change. The first speaker will present the Earth as a biophysical system and discuss the effect of human activity on the functioning of that system. Earth Stewardship can be understood as prescribing behavior that enhances the functioning of the Earth system. The speakers that follow will discuss a range of socio-cultural processes that might enable or constrain the voluntary adoption of the kind of behavior that Earth Stewardship principles espouse. Responding from a sociological perspective, the second speaker will discuss the role of social norms in patterns of consumption and how in modern production systems individual choices have global consequences. The next speaker will discuss how humans learn and adapt, focusing on the key question of how they integrate knowledge from different backgrounds in order to produce new understanding. The next speaker will discuss cultural dimensions of power relations and the role of institutions and political power. Following this will be a presentation on the partiality of human perspectives and how common biophysical processes are experienced and understood differently in local contexts. The following speaker will draw on insights from different belief systems and the possibilities that this suggests for different ways of valuing the biophysical world. The next speaker will present findings from her research on how ecological scientists see their role as agents of social change and discusses engaging with Earth Stewardship from an early career academic perspective. The final speaker will return to the overarching question of what does it mean to live a sustainable Good Life with a discussion of the psychological dimensions of a livable future. These questions are all pertinent to how Earth Stewardship might be framed in a positive and celebratory fashion and how the principles that it espouses might actually adopted. Special emphasis will be on the linkage between those aspects of Earth Stewardship that are global and common to all and those that are fundamentally local and contextual. Adequate time has been made available for discussion from the floor.
Human Ecology
8:00 AM
The imperative for planetary management
Thomas Lovejoy, George Mason University & Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment
8:20 AM
Metaphor, conceptual integration, and adaptive capacity
Barry Newell, Australian National University
8:40 AM
Problems, problematic situations and plural perspectives: Conciliating collective interests through wise forest stewardship
Alfredo Fantini, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina; Alexandre Siminski, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
9:00 AM
Engaging with earth stewardship
Carina Wyborn, Australian National University
9:20 AM
9:30 AM
Rethinking, reform, and renovation: A case study of ecological civilization renaissance in Hangzhou City
Rusong Wang, State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences
10:10 AM
Globalizing local thinking to support earth stewardship
Erle C. Ellis, University of Maryland Baltimore County
10:30 AM
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