POTENTIAL GLADWIN (or CO-AUTHORED) CHAPTERS
1. GLOBAL CHANGE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Purpose: To set forth the overarching conceptual framework for the text.
What is global change? Major human causes, consequences, responses to global change.
Underlying social processes and dynamics connecting humans to global change. The
pressure-state-feedback-filters-societal response model. I=PxAxT (human footprint a
joint function of population, affluence and technology. Natural system and social system
health/resilience/integrity. Life support services of natural and social systems. Patterns
of economic/material/energy growth. Assessing carrying capacity. Indicators of stress
and decline. The big idea of sustainable human development. Harmonizing human
activity with healthy natural systems and social justice. Principles of sustainability.
What do we owe the rest of nature, the currently impoverished and future generations?
What is producing unsustainability? Exponential growth, overshoot and collapse. The
Millenium Development Goals. The Stockholm, Rio and Joahannesburg Summits.
Sustainable Science. Transitions toward sustainability. This text…..
2. THINKING AND LEARNING ABOUT GLOBAL CHANGE
Purpose: To orient the student to the perceptual, cognitive and emotional challenges
associated with learning about global environmental and social change.
Coping with Complexity (dynamism, nonlinearity, emergence, holism). Coping with
Globality (distance, interdependence, loose feedback, huge scales). Coping with
Posterity (slow motion trends, exponentials, discounting, coevolution). Coping with
Finitude (commons, no “aways,” carrying capacity, overshoot). Coping with
Uncertainty (unpredictability, surprises, synergisms, irreversibilities). Coping with
Morality (justice/equity, duties/obligations, right/wrong, compassion). Coping with
Anxiety and Fear (human suffering, decline of nature, insecurity, negative trends).
Connecting Global Change to individual behavior. Thinking and acting globally and
locally. The necessity of foresight and “what-ifing.” Using multiple scenarios.
Worldview Survey. Cultivating imagination, intuition, mindfulness, self-awareness and
social responsibility. Global Change and post-normal science.
3. THE SYSTEMS THINKING APPROACH TO GLOBAL CHANGE
Purpose: To introduce the student to the basics of system dynamics and thinking
which would be employed throughout the entire text.
Character and dynamics of complex adaptive systems. Shifting attention from events to
patterns, systemic structures and mental models. Dynamic vs. static thinking. System-as-
cause vs. system-as-effect thinking. Forest vs. tree-by-tree thinking. Operational vs.
factors thinking. Closed-loop vs. straight-line thinking. Quantitative vs. measurement
thinking. Scientific vs. proving-truth thinking. Systems thinking tools: behavior over-time
diagrams, causal loop diagrams, system archetypes, computer modeling. Tragedies of the
global commons. Negative and positive feedback loops. Role of feedback and response
delays. System patterns: exponential growth, goal-seeking, oscillation, S-shaped growth,
overshoot and collapse. Intervening in systems. Counterintuitive system effects. Policy
resistance. Benefits of systems thinking. Why so critical to understanding global change?
Practicing systems thinking (mini-cases such as population-poverty-environment).
4. EXPLORING THE ETHICAL DIMENSIONS OF GLOBAL CHANGE
AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Purpose: To enable the student to explore the philosophical, moral and spiritual
aspects of global change and sustainable development.
Global change and the grand questions of moral philosophy. Why global change is a
“morally thick” and controversial subject. Who is causing and who is getting hurt by
global change? What do the winners owe the losers? Intragenerational vs.
intergenerational vs. interspecies justice. Different approaches to ethical reasoning, e.g.,
utilitarian vs. formalist. Ethical Aptitude Survey. Coping with ethical dilemmas. Stages
of moral reasoning. Are there “moral minimums?” The Earth Charter. Approaching
global change and sustainable development from the standpoint of human rights. Caring
as a foundation of learning. Anthropocentrism vs. biocentrism. What is the role for
spirituality? What do the world’s religions tell us about global change and sustainability?
How handle international pluralism vs. universalism? Is a global ethic of sustainability
5. EXAMINING THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN GLOBAL CHANGE
AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Purpose: To explore the roles of science and technology in the origins of global
change and sustainability challenges and to the prospects for intelligently and
effectively dealing with them.
The meaning and impacts of technology. History of technological revolutions. Global
patterns of R&D, patents, national scientific capacities, technological innovation and
diffusion. Negative and positive consequences of technology in relation to resource
extraction and productivity; production and consumption activity; empowerment of the
poor; substituting information and services for energy, materials and products; design of
human settlements and mobility patterns; etc. The dynamics of technological change. The
global information revolution and the digital divide. Technological leapfrogging by
developing countries. The ingenuity gap and sustainability. Hopes and fears about
biotechnology and nanotechnology. Role of technology in the eco-industrial revolution.
Shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The precautionary principle. Interaction
of technology with markets and regulations. Can technology alone save us?
6. CONNECTING GLOBAL CHANGE WITH HUMAN VIOLENCE AND
Purpose: To assess the incidence, causes, and consequences of violence and
insecurity around the globe and policy responses to that violence.
Connecting violence to underdevelopment and bad governance. Root causes of
contemporary violence, i.e., armed conflict, civil war, genocide, terrorism. Patterns of
conflict over time and space. Connecting environmental scarcity and human conflict
(especially freshwater). Conflicts for grievances vs. greed (rebel access to diamonds,
minerals, oil, etc.). World military spending trends. The costs of conflict. Effects of
economic sanctions. Population growth and political conflict. Poverty and armed
conflict. Shifting from national security to human security. Charting hatred in the world.
The anatomy of resource conflicts. Breaking the conflict traps. Peacekeeping and
interventions. Environmental and economic refugees. Ethnic tensions and
fractionalization. The “clash of civilizations.” Peace Dividend? Arms race and
proliferation. Prospects for conflict ahead. Laying the foundations for peace.
7. THE ROLE OF ECONOMIC GLOBALIZATION IN ENVIRONMENTAL
AND SOCIAL CHANGE
Purpose: To explore the genesis, structure, dynamics and consequences of economic
globalization in relation to nature, society and sustainability.
History of economic globalization. Understanding the capitalist system. Patterns of
foreign direct investment and international trade. The growth and power of multinational
corporations. Mapping global flows and networks. Appraising the economic, social,
political and environmental consequences of globalization. The spread of “McWorld”
and overconsumption. Quiz on multinationals. Global financial markets and instabilities.
The global criminal economy. Understanding investment climates and risk analysis. The
bypassing of poor countries. Who wins and loses from economic globalization?
Understanding the anti-globalization movement. The global debt burden. The new world
economy (hypercompetitive and knowledge-intensive). Outsourcing of jobs. Distancing
of consumption from production. The commodification of nature. The role of the World
Bank, IMF, WTO, etc. The corporate social responsibility movement and impact. Case
study: The Future of China.
8. PATTERNS AND CONSEQUENCES OF GLOBAL INCOME AND
Purpose: To explore the causes and consequences of global rich-poor, North-South,
male-female inequalities in relation to global change and prospects for sustainable
The history of inequality on this planet. Recent patterns of income and consumption
inequality across and within nations. Ecological Footprint data and trends. The complex
causes of inequality: exploring the roles of technology, education, exclusion, trade, etc.
Exploring the “Success to the Successful” incentive structure of the world economy. The
costs and risks of growing inequality. Felt “relative deprivation” and human conflict.
Case study: The inequities of climate change. The tidal wave of migration. The ethics of
equity and equality. Gender inequality in rights, resources and voice. Why does gender
inequality persist? What are the costs of gender inequality in terms of well-being,
productivity, growth and governance. Patterns of gender inequality around the world.
The payoff for women’s rights. Women, concern for the future and concern for nature.
9. LINKING HUMAN HEALTH TO GLOBAL CHANGE AND
Purpose: To explore the consequences of global environmental and social change
for public human health.
What is health? The interactions of ecosystem, public and economic health. Patterns of
human health over time and space. The “epidemiological transition.” Data on life
expectancy, maternal health, child mortality, infectious diseases, etc. Connecting poverty
to the burden of disease. Connecting overconsumption to disease (obesity). Appraising
basic health care services around the world. Health care spending and effectiveness
among nations. Coping with “syndemics.” Case study: The HIV/AIDS crisis. Climate
change, disease vectors and human health. Rising drug resistance. The role of nutrition
in health. Co-evolution of humans and microbes. Medical R&D focus on diseases of
affluence vs. poverty. Economic benefits of improved health. Case study:
Transportation and Human Health. The ecological and human health consequences of
meat consumption. Resurgence of infectious diseases? Forecasts for the future.
10. THE GOVERNANCE OF GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL
CHANGE, PAST AND FUTURE
Purpose: To explore patterns of national and international governance in relation
to effectively managing global change and promoting transitions toward
History of national and international governance. Trends in political rights and civil
liberties. The shift toward (illiberal) democracy. The course of human freedom. The
struggling nation state. Impact of economic globalization on the power of governments.
The effects of governmental and corporate corruption. National corruption ratings. The
promotion of democracy. The dark side of democracy. Failures of global governance.
Governance in a networked world. The rise of civil society. Reshaping global
governance to manage global change. The potential of partnerships among governments,
ngos and corporations. Global issue networks. Managing the commons. Case study: the
collapse of oceanic fisheries. The role of voluntary corporate responsibility. How
democratize global governance? Case study: The failure of Kyoto. The power of
educated and engaged citizens. What can one person do?