Urgent transitions: Emerging Biophysical Limits
A growing consensus posits biophysical limits to perpetual growth. Emergent circumstances have energy supplies beginning a long descent, food security once again a major challenge, and defensive expenditures rising to address problems caused by past resource consumption. Consequences include changes at the psychological, community and national level, with simultaneous changes in institutions, infrastructure and security.
One plausible response includes increased focus on place-based social interactions, decentralized settlements, personal proficiency and community self-reliance. Even less dramatic responses involve urgent transitions. Furthermore, no single response will work everywhere, forever, or for all people. Thus, while many social experiments already exist, many more are needed.
While we must respond to emerging biophysical limits, the details of our response are not clear. This research explores transitions and related processes that need to occur. It is future oriented, grounded in both biophysical trends and human capabilities, and pays special attention to local sources and impacts.