Sustainability and the Art of Long-term Thinking

Publication new Book

“Sustainability and the Art of Long-term Thinking”

by Bernd Klauer, Reiner Manstetten, Thomas Petersen, Johannes Schiller

Sustainability and the Art of Long-Term ThinkingDealing with time is intimately linked to sustainability, because sustainability, at its core, involves long-term ethical claims. To live up to them, decision and policy-making has to consider long-term development of society, economy, and nature. However, dealing with time and such long-term development is a notoriously difficult subject, both in science and, in particular, in practical decision and policy making.

Rooted in philosophical and scientific reasoning, this book explores how the concept of time can be incorporated into effective practical action. The book describes a system and uses case studies to help sustainability practitioners and researchers consider the long-term consequences of our actions in a methodical way. The system integrates scientific and practical knowledge about time and temporal developments to help break down the sometimes overwhelming complexity of sustainability issues.

Combining theoretical conceptual thinking and practical applications, this book will be of great interest to students and researchers of sustainability science, environmental sciences, sustainable development, environmental economics, political sciences and practical philosophy.

 “No issue divides neoclassical economics and its critics more than the treatment of time. In contrast to concepts like discounting, optimization, and the growth imperative, this volume offers novel and insightful perspectives on the economics of time and sustainability.
John Gowdy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York, USA

The authors have taken on the demanding task of devising a strategy – or heuristic – for analyzing sustainability issues. Emphasizing the concepts of stocks, time and judgement, they build a heuristic emphasizing that sustainability analysis is a scholarly endeavor, while in the form of art. The book is interesting reading, pushing an important frontier forward.
Arild Vatn, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway


Bernd Klauer is a senior scientist at Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig and an Honorary Professor for Sustainability and Water Resources Management at University of Leipzig, Germany

Reiner Manstetten has a Habilitation in economics at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He is currently lecturer at the Philosophical Seminar of the University of Heidelberg.

Thomas Petersen has a Habilitation in philosophy at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He is currently lecturer at the Pädagogische Hochschule (college of education) Heidelberg.

Johannes Schiller is a senior scientist at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – Leipzig, Germany.

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