Let the environment guide our development

Posted on November 19, 2011


Johan Rockstrom is a leader of a new approach to sustainability: planetary boundaries. Working with a team of 29 leading scientists across disciplines, Rockstrom and the Stockholm Resilience Centre identified nine key Earth processes or systems — and marked the upper limit beyond which each system could touch off a major system crash. Climate change is certainly in the mix — but so are other human-made threats such as ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity, chemical pollution.  (ted.com)

According to Johan Rockstrom we “may have entered the most challenging and the most exciting decade in the history of humanity on the planet, the decade when we have to bend the curves”.  Please watch this if you’re interested in learning about the curves we must bend, and the nine “planetary boundaries” which act to guide us and protect our planet’s overlapping ecosystems.

This post/video acts as a continuation from The Anthropocene from Will Steffan (posted November 12, 2011).  Some of the content of this video will overlap with Steffan but it builds upon it, and for a deeper understanding, watching the two is recommended.  Enjoy!

For more information about Johan Rockstrom, and his work, please visit his page at the Stockholm Resilience Center:


As with Will Steffan’s work on The Anthropocene, the article Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity (2009) provides a good starting point for research on this topic: