Sustainable Social-Ecological Systems: An Impossibility?

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Aly Bean
"...scientists are worried that many of the social-ecological systems existing today may collapse by the end of the 21st century... more important than simply worrying, however, is th development of a strong diagnostic method for analyzing the diversity of processes and the multiplicity of potential social and biophysical solutions that are needed to cope effectively with these varied processes. Past efforts to impose simple solutions to these complex problems have frequently led to worse outcomes than the problems addressed. Our need today is building a strong interdisciplinary science of complex, multilevel systems that will enable over time a matching of potential solutions to a careful diagnosis of specific problems embedded in a social-ecological context. I will take some small steps toward this goal in my presentation" (presented at the 2007 Annual Mtg of AAAS).