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The mission of this web site is to collect and analyze information on global social/ecological justice issues, with especial focus on integral human development; and to publish monthly reports on emerging trends via the Mother Pelican Journal of Solidarity and Sustainability.
INTEGRAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
Integral human development includes all dimensions in the life of each person, including the physical, intellectual, pyschological, ethical, and spiritual dimensions.In particular, the spiritual development of each and every human person is crucial for sustainable development.It is recognized that spiritual growth is impossible for people living in misery.However, the extreme poverty of many is mostly a consequence of the spiritual underdevelopment of people living in abundance.Therefore, the mission of Mother Pelican encompasses the full range of social and ecological justice issues, but is specifically focused on how they relate to spirituality and the practices of various religious traditions.Gender inequalities that emerge from religious patriarchy are explored as major obstacles to integral human development, solidarity, and sustainability.
The patriarchal culture of control and domination is the root of all social and ecological violence.It corrupted the original unity of man and woman (cf. Genesis 3:16) and is now disrupting the harmony between humanity and the human habitat.Just as we are now aware that slavery and racism are moral evils, we must become aware that gender discrimination is a moral evil that must be eradicated if solidarity and sustainability are to be attained.
The need to reform patriarchal structures applies to both secular and religious institutions.Overcoming patriarchy is a "sign of the times" to the extent that it fosters authentic gender solidarity and nonviolence for the good of humanity and the glory of God. Given the enormous influence of religious traditions, it is especially critical for religious institutions to extirpate any semblance of male hegemony in matters of doctrine and religious practices.
Monthly updates of Mother Pelican are distributed free of charge via the Solidarity-Sustainability distribution list.The monthly updates currently include the following:A feature article on current solidarity-sustainability issues.Several one-page articles on recently emerging research.Recurring articles currently cover the following themes:
1. Advances in Sustainable Development
2. Sustainable Development Resources
3. Strategies for Solidarity and Sustainability
4. Best Practices for Solidarity and Sustainability
5. Fostering Integral Human Development
6. Enhancing Gender Relations in Society & Religion
7. Cultural Evolution for Social & Ecological Justice
To view the first page of the current issue, click here.
The current research agenda is to examine all the significant dimensions of sustainable development in order to integrate the resulting multi-dimensional knowledge and make it available in a form suitable for use by leaders of sustainable development initiatives. The following modes of research are being used:Review and analysis of current sustainable development concepts, policies, and best practices.Review and analysis of patriarchal structures of control and domination in secular and religious institutions.Review and analysis of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) projects and trends.Review and analysis of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) projects and trends.Review and analysis of human behavior in response to economic growth-human development trade offs.Use of System Dynamics (system behavior simulation) to analyze sustainable development scenarios.Use of Girardian analysis (mimetic theory) to analyze scapegoating behavior.Use of NxN inter-dependency matrices to analyze precedence relations.Sacred scriptures from various religious traditions are used as a point of reference.
The following are being explored as crucial ingredients for a civilized transition to a better future for humanity and the biosphere:Governance guided by solidarity, subsidiarity, and sustainabilityTransition from consumerist growth to a steady-state economyTransition from population growth to demographic stabilityEnergy usage and climate change mitigation/adaptation projectsNet energy analysis and energy return on energy investmentImplementation of financial transaction/speculation taxesShift from income/property taxes to land/resource value taxesGuaranteed basic personal income (conditional or unconditional)Corporate social responsibility and triple bottom-line accountingTransferring subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energyFostering gender solidarity/communion in society and religion
The knowledge organization model that has been chosen for this web site is the Knowledge Map of Chaim Zins:
SOLIDARITY & SUSTAINABILITY INFORMATION PACKAGE
This package contains a college-level powerpoint presentation on ecological sustainability.The presentation is about the transition from the consumerist society to ecological sustainability. After definitions of ecology, sustainability, ecological sustainability, and sustainable development, the presentation unfolds as a series of questions and answers centered around the "sustainable development paradox" (i.e., the paradox of infinite growth in a finite planet).
This is the essence of the sustainable development paradox: If consumption continues to grow indefinitely, natural resources will be depleted, pollution will reach saturation levels, and the human habitat will degrade so much that it will not support human civilization.If consumption growth comes to an end, the worldwide economic-financial system will become disfunctional and eventually may collapse with severe social repercussions.
In other words:Increasing consumption will eventually destroy the human habitatStabilizing consumption would stagnate materialistic economic growth
The purpose of this presentation is not to resolve the paradox, but to show the relevance of "Ecological Sustainability" for engineers and other professionals.Due to the ubiquity of sustainability issues (all locations, all industries, all human activities), at least one course in "Ecological Sustainability" should be required in all professional programs (undergraduate and graduate levels), as well as continuing education programs.For some good educational resources, see the following:Teaching Stewardship and SustainabilityUS Partnership for Education for Sustainable DevelopmentEducation for Sustainable Development ToolkitUN Education for Sustainable Development ProgramInternational Jesuit Ecology ProjectGaia Education: Best Climate PracticesA Readers? Guide to Pope Francis? Encyclical Laudato Si?
To download the information package, click here.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SIMULATION (SDSIM)The objective of the Sustainable Development Simulation (SDSIM) is to analyze trade-offs between human development and economic development priorities. It is a global model, in the tradition of Limits to Growth and other similar projects. However, it attempts to take into account both material resources, which are limited, and human resources such as wisdom and the human capacity for adaptation, which are not physically limited. The time window is 1900-2100, and the transition from consumerism to sustainability is expected to begin happening during this century; in fact, empirical data suggests that it may have started already.For more information on SDSIM 1.5, click here.
To explore the SDSIM 1.5 web-based interface, click here.
Further development of SDSIM 2.0 is pending.
Population peaking, then oscillating and finally decreasing to a long-term sustainable level.Note time-phasing with GDP and per capita consumption of material goods and services.The peak in energy availability is followed by a long decline until it settles to the steady-state flow that is allowed by solar (andperhaps other cosmic) sources of energy.The "long-tail" is the result technological developments with gradually decreasing return on energy invested.The solidarity index is currently formulated as a nonlinear function of human population, material consumption, and energy flows.It is an indicator of social cohesion, which is tightly coupled with the sustainability of resource usage.Solidarity reinforces sustainability and vice versa.The general patterns of peaks, oscillations, and eventual settling to steady-state are indicative of turbulence during the transition, with high risk of cultural disruptions and violence.The myth of "infinite growth in a finite planet" will not be easy to overcome.
The horizontal and vertical scales are not shown in order to avoid giving the impression that this is a prediction.This is a simulated scenario, not a prediction.It portrays dynamic modes of behavior that can be expected during the transition from consumerism to sustainability, as follows:
This is not intended to be an "alarmist" scenario.However, it would be wise to take the Precautionary Principle into account when formulation sustainable development policies as we enter the Anthropocene Age. Widespread violence is bound to emerge if demographic and consumption adjustments are involuntary.Is this "the future we want" for the entire community of nations?
NB: The current SDSIM 2.0 is a demo, not a capability.
Encyclical Laudato Si'
LINK TO THE ENCYCLICAL
Integral Human Development
Source: Catholic Relief Services, 17 June 2013
2019 World Population Data Sheet
Source: Population Reference Bureau, 2019
Source: Herman Daly, Economics and the Environment, 15 March 2015
Source: Charlie Hall, Biophysics and the Economy, 6 October 2015
Global Energy Outlook 2018
Source: International Energy Agency, 13 November 2018
Global Energy Statistics
Source: Key World Energy Statistics
International Energy Agency, 2018
Energy Realities: EROI
Source: Canadians for a Sustainable Society, 24 January 2017
Great Transition Initiative
Source: Great Transition Initiative, 30 January 2014
The Ecological Citizen
Source: The Ecological Citizen
Global Ecocentric Network
Source: Global Ecocentric Network for
Implementing Ecodemocracy (GENIE)
Source: Don Driscoll, YouTube, 26 March 2018
Mandela?s Vision for a Better World
Source: The Elders, 17 July 2017
Democracy Index 2018
Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit, 8 January 2019
Sustainable Development 2018
The world has made considerable progress on sustainable development. In 2018, it?s time to speed things up to deliver on the promise to leave no one behind. Source: United Nations Development Program, 12 January 2018
Healing Earth E-Textbook
Free e-textbook about environmental ethics, with chapters on biodiversity, natural resources, energy, water, food, global climate change, and more.Source: International Jesuit Ecology Project, Loyola University Chicago
World Inequality Report 2018
Source: World Inequality Report, 2018
Human Overpopulation Atlas
Source: Human Overpopulation Atlas, 10 October 2018
Where Are We Going?
Source: Where Are We Going?, Nathan Hagens, 23 April 2018
World Scientists' Warning to Humanity
Source: Alliance of World Scientists, 13 November 2017
2018 Human Development Index
Source: United Nations Development Program, 2018
Collective Behavior for Sustainability
Source: Stanford Knowledge Integration Laboratory, 20 October 2018
Global Environmental Outlook
Source: UN Environment, 4 March 2019
National Climate Assessment
Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program, 23 November 2018
Global Material Resources
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development,
19 February 2019
Source: University of Texas Energy Symposium,
Carey King, 14 March 2019
Multidimensional Poverty Index
Source: Human Development Report Office UNDP, 11 July 2019
World Resources Forum 2019
Source: World Resources Forum
2019 Human Development Report
Source: Human Development Report, UNDP, 8 December 2019
Greta Thunberg's Intervention at COP25
Source: United Planet Faith & Science Initiative, 14 December 2019
ANCIENT SYMBOLThe pelican is an ancient symbol of unconditional service. To be a "person for others" requires full awareness of the personal self and also requires sacrifice of the one who serves. The following excerpt from The Physiologus (the author is unknown, circa 4th century CE) captures this ideal:
"The long beak of the white pelican is furnished with a sack which serves as a container for the small fish that it feeds its young. In the process of feeding them, the bird presses the sack against its neck in such a way that it seems to open its breast with its bill. The reddish tinge of its breast plumage and the redness of the tip of its beak fostered the folkloristic notion that it actually drew blood from its own breast."
The author of The Physiologus found the action of the female pelican, interpreted in this manner, to be a symbol of merciful and sacrificial service and thus an apt symbol of Jesus the Christ (Cf. Matthew 23:37, Luke 13:34). While professing no affiliation to any specific religious body, the Mother Pelican journal is committed to the promotion of basic Christian values, human rights, social justice, balanced gender equality, and ecological sustainability.
"Ubi caritas et amor,
Deus ibi est."
May 2005For an annotated list that shows the themes covered and articles published each month, click here.ABOUTFor "about" info, click here.SUBMISSIONSArticles and news items can be submitted via email to the editor.Please note that this journal is strictly non-commercial and is published under a Creative Commons License.
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