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The end of sustainability: Realism and resilience in managing our natural resources

By Eric van Bemmel

Environmental legal scholar Prof. Robin Craig argues that the doctrine of sustainability in managing our natural resources fails to take into account an emerging age of ecological uncertainty. Instead, notions of sustainability and sustainable development need to make way for approaches based on resilience thinking, which attempts to factor in and adapt to coming large-scale social and ecological shifts brought about by climate change.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

I'm Eric van Bemmel; thanks for joining us. It's believed Charles Darwin once said it's not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. But are humans, in a coming age of immense ecological uncertainty, ready to change? Our guest on this episode argues that goals toward environmental and resource sustainability are futile, that as we now find ourselves in the Anthropocene in which climate change, massive biodiversity loss and skyrocketing resource consumption are the order of the day, the very notion of maintaining a predictable, socioecological balance is doomed.

Sustainability has been the mantra in resources management for decades now and while a noble idea, it's increasingly unlikely to work in a world where everything is in flux. But if sustainability is not the approach we should take, what is? We are joined by environmental policy expert Robin Craig who is the William H Leary Professor of Law at The University of Utah and the author of very many papers on water rights, pollution, oceans and climate change adaptation. She's co-author with Melinda Benson of the upcoming book The End of Sustainability:...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.