IGN 2-5 - Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns

Monday, August 7, 2017
C123, Oregon Convention Center
Nathan Sayre, Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley, CA
Ecology and economy derive from the Greek term for “household,” the site of consumption, production, and reproduction. However, the metaphor of Earth as humanity’s household can distort key issues for ensuring sustainability. Carrying capacity, although thoroughly discredited in ecology and demography, persists in ecological “footprint” analysis, for example. Payments for ecosystem services rest on simplistic and flawed notions of value and capital. The Anthropocene debates remain stubbornly anchored in an ancient human/nature dualism and ecological climax theory. More effective strategies require closer attention to non-linear cross-scale interactions; uneven development; and fluxes of value, energy and waste through the built environment.