Looking back on the debate of last week Kris van Koppen starts with a critique of ecology (including planetary boundaries) and technology (including biomimetic technology) as frames for sustainability. From there, he elaborates on a societal approach, revolving around the key concepts of consumption, politics and solidarity.
Often, debates on global sustainability get stuck in natural science stereotypes. But e.g. ecology, which since the 1960s has been the cornerstone of the environmental movement, cannot help us much further in understanding sustainable development. Technological optimism does not help us any better. The key causes of, and solutions to environmental degradation have to be found in the ways people organize their interactions with each other and with their environment: in political structures and cultural practices.