Resilience Requires All Disciplines: The Planetary Limits Academic Network (PLAN) | AIChE

Resilience Requires All Disciplines: The Planetary Limits Academic Network (PLAN)


McCall, B. - Presenter, University of Dayton

Humanity’s grand challenges – energy and resource depletion, climate change, ecosystem degradation, economic growth and stability, and equity – aren’t independent problems we can solve, but are aspects of an unprecedented predicament. Our current way of life exceeds planetary limits and cannot be sustained.

Achieving true resilience will require engaging scholars in every academic discipline to develop an integrative understanding of planetary limits, and appropriate responses. This might involve envisioning and laying the groundwork for scenarios that lie between techno-utopian and apocalyptic.

The Planetary Limits Academic Network is a just-launched transdisciplinary community for scholars who appreciate the interlocking nature of humanity’s grand challenges and recognize that modernity is incompatible with planetary limits.

If these principles resonate with you, please join us at!

  1. Humans are a part of nature, not apart from nature.
  2. Non-renewable materials cannot be harvested indefinitely on a finite planet.
  3. The ability of Earth’s ecosystems to assimilate pollution without consequences is finite.
  4. Energy throughput is essential to all human activities, including the economy.
  5. Technology is a tool for deploying, not creating energy.
  6. Fossil fuel combustion is the primary cause of ongoing global climate change.
  7. Exponential growth, whether of physical or economic form, must eventually cease.
  8. Today’s choices can simultaneously create problems for and deprive resources from future generations.
  9. Human behavior is consciously and unconsciously shaped by mental models of culture that, while mutable, impose barriers to change.
  10. Apparent success for a few generations during a massive draw-down of finite resources says little about chances for long-term success.