Details zur Publikation

Kategorie Textpublikation
Referenztyp Zeitschriften
DOI 10.1007/s11625-019-00673-0
Volltext Shareable Link
Titel (primär) Leaving the “sustainability or collapse” narrative behind
Autor Strunz, S.; Marselle, M.; Schröter, M.
Quelle Sustainability Science
Erscheinungsjahr 2019
Department OEKON; CLE; iDiv; ESS
Band/Volume 14
Heft 6
Seite von 1717
Seite bis 1728
Sprache englisch
Keywords Behavior; Collapse; Overshoot; Resilience; Sustainability
Abstract In this paper, we investigate the cogency of the “sustainability or collapse” narrative, that is, the notion that the current global civilization risks ecological overshoot-induced collapse. Combining different strands of literature, we put forward three arguments: First, for many empirical cases of past societies that purportedly “collapsed”, alternative interpretations, emphasizing resilience, transformation and reorganization are equally if not more plausible. Second, the “sustainability or collapse” narrative tends to be misleading insofar as it suggests that resource input constraints are the main sustainability challenge global civilization faces today. Instead, we argue that a stronger focus on system outputs and pollution is needed. Third, collapse-warnings are psychologically ineffective because they might induce fear and guilt, which leads to apathy not action. In consequence, we suggest that the sustainability agenda relies on positive framings that highlight the benefits from institutional and behavioral changes for human well-being. We illustrate our argument with two examples, water scarcity in Cape Town, South Africa and the German energy transition.
dauerhafte UFZ-Verlinkung
Strunz, S., Marselle, M., Schröter, M. (2019):
Leaving the “sustainability or collapse” narrative behind
Sustain. Sci. 14 (6), 1717 - 1728 10.1007/s11625-019-00673-0