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Sustainability or Collapse: What Can We Learn from Integrating the History of Humans and the Rest of Nature?

Costanza, Robert; Graumlich, Lisa J.; Steffen, Will; Crumley, Carole L; Dearing, John; Hibbard, Kathy A.; Leemans, Rik; Redman, Charles L; Schimel, David

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Understanding the history of how humans have interacted with the rest of nature can help clarify the options for managing our increasingly interconnected global system. Simple, deterministic relationships between environmental stress and social change are inadequate. Extreme drought, for instance, triggered both social collapse and ingenious management of water through irrigation. Human responses to change, in turn, feed into climate and ecological systems, producing a complex web of...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorCostanza, Robert
dc.contributor.authorGraumlich, Lisa J.
dc.contributor.authorSteffen, Will
dc.contributor.authorCrumley, Carole L
dc.contributor.authorDearing, John
dc.contributor.authorHibbard, Kathy A.
dc.contributor.authorLeemans, Rik
dc.contributor.authorRedman, Charles L
dc.contributor.authorSchimel, David
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-08T22:09:08Z
dc.identifier.issn0044-7447
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/28895
dc.description.abstractUnderstanding the history of how humans have interacted with the rest of nature can help clarify the options for managing our increasingly interconnected global system. Simple, deterministic relationships between environmental stress and social change are inadequate. Extreme drought, for instance, triggered both social collapse and ingenious management of water through irrigation. Human responses to change, in turn, feed into climate and ecological systems, producing a complex web of multidirectional connections in time and space. Integrated records of the co-evolving human-environment system over millennia are needed to provide a basis for a deeper understanding of the present and for forecasting the future. This requires the major task of assembling and integrating regional and global historical, archaeological, and paleoenvironmental records. Humans cannot predict the future. But, if we can adequately understand the past, we can use that understanding to influence our decisions and to create a better, more sustainable and desirable future.
dc.publisherMediaPrint
dc.sourceAMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
dc.subjectKeywords: coevolution; drought; environmental stress; history; human behavior; paleoenvironment; social change; sustainability; climate; ecosystem; human; natural science; policy; review; Climate; Ecosystem; Humans; Nature; Social Planning
dc.titleSustainability or Collapse: What Can We Learn from Integrating the History of Humans and the Rest of Nature?
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume36
dc.date.issued2007
local.identifier.absfor049999 - Earth Sciences not elsewhere classified
local.identifier.absfor169905 - Studies of Pacific Peoples' Societies
local.identifier.absfor219999 - History and Archaeology not elsewhere classified
local.identifier.ariespublicationU4279067xPUB61
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationCostanza, Robert, University of Vermont
local.contributor.affiliationGraumlich, Lisa J., University of Arizona
local.contributor.affiliationSteffen, Will, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationCrumley, Carole L, University of North Carolina
local.contributor.affiliationDearing, John, University of Liverpool
local.contributor.affiliationHibbard, Kathy A., National Center for Atmospheric Research
local.contributor.affiliationLeemans, Rik, Wageningen University
local.contributor.affiliationRedman, Charles L, Arizona State University
local.contributor.affiliationSchimel, David, National Center for Atmospheric Research
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue7
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage522
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage527
local.identifier.doi10.1579/0044-7447(2007)36[522:SOCWCW]2.0.CO;2
dc.date.updated2015-12-08T07:22:31Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-37349119307
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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