Bibliography of Literature Relevant to

Our Future Sustainability

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The only way in which a human being can make some approach to knowing the whole of a subject is by hearing what can be said about it by persons of every variety of opinion and studying all the modes in which it can be looked at by every character of mind. No wise man ever acquired his wisdom in any mode but this. --- John Stuart Mill

 

The question, then, is not whether we will change, but whether the transition is done with more or less grace and whether the destination is desirable or not. The barriers to a graceful transition to sustainability, whatever forms it may take, are not so much technological as they are social, political, and psychological.  --- David Orr

 

Jump down to the Table of Contents

 

Curated by:

Robert Turner, PhD

School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

University of Washington Bothell

Curator’s Statement

(An essay on the motivations and applications of this bibliography)

 

Objective of this web site:

To help anyone achieve a better understanding of the challenges facing humanity and other species, why we have these challenges, and what we can do to mitigate, overcome, or adapt to them.

 

Some caveats about this resource

 

Contributors:

Thanks to the following colleagues who shared references they thought should be included in earlier versions of this resource.

 

Jennifer Atkinson

School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

University of Washington Bothell

 

Sonya Doucette

Chemistry and Environmental Science Program

Bellevue College

 

Martha Groom

School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

University of Washington Bothell

 

Jason Lambacher

School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

University of Washington Bothell

 

Jean MacGregor

Emerita Director

Curriculum for the Bioregion

Evergreen State College

 

Giving these fine colleagues credit here in no way implies that they have any responsibility for, or agreement with, anything written or found on this site.  Please do not bother them with any suggestions or comments.

A Conversational Approach to this Resource                            (No thanks, just take me to the Table of Contents)

 

Are you feeling some anxiety about our future prospects? 

You are not alone. 

Click here to see how people are processing perceived environmental threats and discovering motivation for change, along with scholarly work on environmental psychology, eco-anxiety, and climate grief.

 

Perhaps you are thinking – What’s the big deal?  How bad can it be? 

-          Click here to read articles that provide a synthesis of our various existential threats and assess the potential for societal collapse.

-          Click here if you want to learn more, much more, about the impacts of climate change that we have already observed and the latest projections of those impacts into the future, broken up into 19 sub-categories.

-          Click here if you are interested in finding out what kind of limits or thresholds constrain our activities and potential, as well as how we assess vulnerability of populations to climate change and other hazards, or measure societal success and progress toward sustainability.

 

Is climate change our only significant concern?  Not even close. 

There are many other troubling trends that threaten our future. 

Click here to learn about them.

 

But wait – the future is not written, right?  How can we know what the future holds? 

Well, we don’t know, exactly, but we can define various different, but possible trajectories and assume that what will happen will fall within the boundaries of those different trajectories.

Click here to learn about Future Scenarios Analyses, their applications, and their findings. 

 

Ok, there are many negative trends and projections to worry us. 

Why do we have these problems and so much difficulty in overcoming them?

Click here to learn about the cultural factors contributing to our unsustainability.  How do we develop our values, ethics and ideologies, and how do they express in problematic ways via politics, economics, media, and advocacy?

 

So what are we doing (or can do) to address our many challenges? 

-          If we are looking to maintain something like the status quo while also reducing the vulnerability of populations to calamities, then we are building resilience in our systems via mitigation or adaptation efforts.

Click here to learn about the many and varied resilience-oriented efforts and proposals.

-          If, however, the initiatives are calling for systemic transformation of virulent socio-economic systems, and some degree of culture change in order to address our environmental and social challenges at their roots, then they can be considered part of the sustainability movement.

Click here to learn more about the principles of both sustainability and sustainable development. How are they different?

Click here to learn how sustainability may be manifested in the teaching, operations, and missions of higher education institutions.

Click here to access proposals and manifestos for sustainability.  This is your one stop shop for holistic and transformational solutions.

 

Enough with the bad news, you wail!  Is there no hope?  Well, yes, there is. 

Click here for assessments of the validity and power of hope, links to organizations doing the best they can to make a better future, and stories of successful or promising initiatives.

 

 

Table of Contents

 

I.

Climate Change Impact Observations and Projections (published after 2004)

 

 A. 

Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food Supply

 

 B.

Biodiversity Loss, Habitat Degradation, and Species Shifts

 

 C.

Conflict, Security, Displacement, and Migrations    

 

 D.

Deforestation and Wildfire

 

 E.

Drought and Desertification

 

 F.

Economics and Politics (much more in section III)

 

 G.

Glacial Lake Outburst Floods         

 

 H.

Human Health and Disease

 

 I.

Ice Loss         

 

 J.

Inequities

 

 K.

Ocean Acidification

 

 L.

Other Impacts

 

 M.

Overviews and Advances in the Science

 

 N.

Pacific Northwest Specific

 

 O.

Permafrost, Hydrates, and Methane

 

 P.

Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding         

 

 Q.

Tropical Cyclones

 

 R.

Water Supplies

 

 S.

Weather Extremes and Geographic Shifts

Climate Spiral visualization from Ed Hawkins found here

 

 

 

II.

Other Existential Threats

 

 

 A.

Agriculture, Soil Degradation, and Food

 

 B.

Biodiversity Loss and Ecosystem Degradation

 

 C.

Conflict, Displacement, and Migrations

 

 D.

Human Health Threats

 

 E.

Natural Hazards (Earthquakes, Volcanic Eruptions, Tsunamis, Landslides etc.)

 

 F.

Other

 

 G.

Overviews (more in section VI)

 

 H.

Pacific Northwest Specific

 

 I.

Pollution, Plastic, and Other Waste Problems

 

 J.

Technological Threats

 

 K.

Water Crisis (Scarcity, Conflict, and Mismanagement)

 

 

 

 

III.

The Cultural How and Why? Ideologies, Ethics, Economics, and Politics of (Un)Sustainability

 

 

 A.

What Lies Beneath – Cultural Theory, Psychology, and the Expression of Political Ideology

 

 B.

Environmental Ethics (Or Lack Thereof)

 

 C.

Politics of Environmental and Climate Science/Policy/Communication/Advocacy

 

 D.

Economics Emphasis – Critiquing Capitalism, Consumption, and Inequities

 

 E.

Democracy in Decline (and What to Do About It)

 

 F.

Other

 

 

 

IV.

Limits and Metrics of Sustainability and Well-Being

 

 A.

Carrying Capacity and Limits to Growth

 

 B.

Carbon, Water, and Ecological Footprint Analyses

 

 C.

Beware the State Change - Planetary Boundaries, Thresholds, and Tipping Points

 

 D.

Assessing the Vulnerability and Risk of Populations

 

 E.

Other Metrics of Sustainability and Well-Being

 

 

 

V.

Future Scenarios Analyses

 

 

 

VI.

Synthesis of Existential Risks and the Potential for Societal Collapse

Graphic from the UN Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2019

 

 A.

Collections

 

 

 B.

Peer Review Articles, Books, and More Scholarly Resources

 

 

 C.

Journalism and Think Pieces

 

 

 

 

 

VII.

Activism, Eco-anxiety, and the Psychology of Confronting the “Traumacene

 

 

 A.

Peer Review Articles and More Scholarly Resources

 

 

 B.

Journalism and Personal Takes

 

 

 

 

 

VIII.

Conservation, Restoration, Mitigation, Adaptation à Resilience

 

 

 A.

Agriculture, Food, and Soil Specific

 

 B.

Conservation and Restoration Ecology Efforts and Initiatives

 

 C.

Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience

 

 D.

The Energy Challenge – On Emissions, Decarbonization, and Alternative Sources

 

 E.

Geoengineering/Negative Carbon – Possibilities, Controversies, and Ethics

 

 F.

Pacific Northwest Specific

 

 G.

Transition Towns, Ecovillages & Deep Adaptation à Resilience for Collapse

 

 H.

Water Focus

 

 I.

More Literature on Mitigation, Adaptation, and Resilience

 

 

 

IX.

What is Sustainability and Sustainable Development?

 

 

 

X.

Sustainability in Teaching and the Higher Education Mission       

 

 A.

Climate Change and Sustainability as Imperatives for Higher Education

 

 B.

Coming into Alignment with What Students Want and Need

 

 C.

The What, Why, and How of Sustainability Teaching and Learning

 

 D.

Sustainability Transformations of University Operations

 

 E.

Teaching Modules, Activities, and Other Resources

 

 

 

XI.

Sustainability Manifestos

 

 

 

Sustainability doughnut from Kate Raworth (2017) found here

XII.

Hopeful Resources – On Hope, Activism, and Examples of Positive Change

 

 

 A.

Articles, Books, Reports, and Videos

 

 

 B.

Web Sites of Organizations Doing Good Works

 

 

 


Last updated – March 24, 2021