Scientists' Warnings: Affluence
After a "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity in 1992, the Alliance of World Scientists (https://scientistswarning.forestry.oregonstate.edu/) issued a "World Scientists’ Warning: Second Notice" in 2017, and a "Scientists' Warning of a Climate Emergency" in 2019 (https://www.scientistswarning.org/). Now they are collecting scientific papers with a narrow focus on specific aspects of the climate emergency (https://www.scientistswarning.org/journal-articles-of-scientists-warnin…).
A particularly important new paper recently published in Nature Communications is Scientists' Warning on Affluence by Thomas Wiedmann et al. (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16941-y) that demonstrates that the most significant driver of unsustainability is the high-consumption lifestyle associated with wealth and affluence, and is not compensated by technological innovations of the green economy. There is no way that we can turn the corner towards a more environmentally and socially sustainable society and avoid the climate and biodiversity catastrophes without a significant reduction in consumer lifestyles and an associated reduction in the GDP of Western economies, with all the implications for job losses and structural changes in the present economic paradigm. The paper reviews the extensive academic literature on alternatives and suggests important questions requiring further research. In emphasizes rethinking communities from the bottom up and promoting simplicity in material lifestyles much in keeping with Baha'i principles.
Last updated 6 December 2020