This book addresses the current challenges of sustainable development, including its social, economic and environmental components. The author argues that we need to develop a new concept of time-based on inter-generational solidarity, which focuses both on the long- and the short term. The evolution of man's notions of time are analyzed from prehistory to modern times, showing how these concepts shape our worldviews, our ecological paradigms and our equilibrium with our planet. Practical approaches to dealing with the major medium- and long term sustainability challenges of the 21st century are presented and discussed.
- Human Life and Immortality
- The Initial Part of Homo sapiens' Time
- Modernity and the Acceleration of Time
- The Triumph and Challenges Created by the Idea of Progress
- Prosperity, Egoism, Voluntary Simplicity, Sustainability, and Expectations of Immortality
- Anthropocene, Technosphere, Biosphere, and the Contemporary Utopias
Filipe Duarte Santos is a professor of Physics and Environmental Sciences at the University of Lisbon, President of the Portuguese National Council on the Environment and Sustainable Development, member of the Environment Steering Panel of the EASAC (European Academies Science Advisory Council), Director of the PhD Program on climate change and sustainable development policies involving various universities with the University of Lisbon, the New University of Lisbon and the University of East Anglia as main partners, and researcher at the CCIAM-CE3C research centre of the Faculdade de Ciências of the University of Lisbon. He holds an M.Sc. in geophysics from the University of Lisbon and a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of London. He has published more than 150 scientific papers and 5 books in the fields of physics, environment and climate change.
"This is a thought-provoking and timely book that addresses the main global socioeconomic and environmental challenges facing the current and future generations, using science-based analysis and perspectives. It presents a historical narrative of the advent of progress, economic growth and technology, and discusses the structural changes needed to co-create sustainable pathways. It provides hope for our future on Earth, mankind's common home."
– António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
"This is an amazing, almost mind-boggling book. The author takes a look at the true whole, i.e., the development of the human enterprise since its very beginning. This enterprise is evidently a possibility under the boundary conditions of cosmological dynamics and natural evolution, but evidently also a highly improbable one. It is all but a miracle that the Earth system in its present form exists and happens to support a technical civilization. Will this civilization last long, will it transform itself into something even more exceptional, or will it perish in disgrace? Santos dares to address these grandest of all questions, equipped with a unique transdisciplinary wisdom drawing on physics, cybernetics, geology, biology, economics, anthropology, history, and philosophy. And he dares to dive into the deepest abysses of thinking, where categorial monsters like time and progress lurk. Thereby, he takes us on a fascinating journey, during which we perceive and grasp things we have never seen and understood before. One of the best essays I have ever read."
– John Schellnhuber, founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and former chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change