Transforming the current society towards sustainability is a formidable task, requiring changes at many levels of society. Reductions in our use of natural resources and environmental impacts of human societies are necessary, while maintaining a progress in satisfying human well-being in a growing world population. Considerable efforts in developing low impact economy and technology will be needed to change societies towards more sustainable social-ecological systems. However, perhaps the most challenging aspect of this transformation is to manage the very roots of the problem: the human mind. Implicit in many, if not all, of the well-known causes of environmental degradation (e.g., externalities of businesses and individual behavior, tragedy of the unmanaged commons, conspicuous consumption) are a human mind originally evolved to maximize individual reproductive success within short-sighted perspectives and small social groups. We are therefore ill equipped to take responsibility for long-term global environmental problems. We argue that an understanding of human evolution and the functioning of the brain as an adaptive unit underlying human behavior will be necessary in order to create societal reorganization and incentives that successfully deal with the challenges of the Anthropocene. Cooperation and altruistic behavior are certainly part of the human repertoire but only if social contexts are arranged to support these behaviors. We believe that evolutionary approaches to human behavior can no longer be left out of the discussion on the environmental crisis, and in environmental policy, and that managing the transformation will also require applying evolutionary science to human behavior.
|Publicerad - 2015
|Transformations – people and planet in the Anthropocene. International Conference, Stockholm University, 5-7 October 2015. -
Varaktighet: 1980-jan.-01 → …
|Transformations – people and planet in the Anthropocene. International Conference, Stockholm University, 5-7 October 2015.
|80-01-01 → …
- Tvärvetenskapliga studier inom samhällsvetenskap (50901)