Three metaphors for sustainability in the Anthropocene
2016 (English)In: The Anthropocene Review, ISSN 2053-0196, Vol. 3, no 1, 23-32 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This paper presents three different metaphors for sustainability in the Anthropocene. The first metaphor is the widely used notion of an ‘ecological footprint’, which offers a snapshot of what sustainability would require today using existing technologies. The second metaphor is one of a rocket taking off. Unlike the static footprint metaphor, this metaphor allows for the possibility that achieving a long-term sustainable trajectory might require entering a temporary state of even higher levels of unsustainability. Finally a third metaphor is presented, in which human civilisation is likened to an airplane and modernity to a runway. This metaphor suggests that sustainability can be achieved either by (1) a take-off into a post-scarcity space-faring civilisation or (2) a deceleration into a small-scale economy based on norms of frugality and simplicity. The third metaphor highlights the risk that insufficient political commitment to either trajectory might lead to (3) a catastrophic ecological overshoot.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2016. Vol. 3, no 1, 23-32 p.
global change, sustainable development, future studies
Research subject Political Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-106736DOI: 10.1177/2053019615599415OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-106736DiVA: diva2:844420