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Matthias Ruth

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Matthias Ruth

This chapter traces the interplay of innovation, technological change and economic growth in the context of the biophysical constraints that have, and always will, set the boundaries within which human society flourishes. Special attention is given to the complexities that pose challenges for understanding the role, and guiding the uses of technology. An illustration is provided for the case of energy transitions from non-renewable to renewable fuels. As the illustration highlights, institutional and societal innovations need to accompany innovations in technology to help ensure its deployment in ways that promote sustainability. Also, since sustainability inherently pertains to development paths that unfold over long periods of time in which environmental, social and technological conditions (re-)shape each other in unknown and unknowable ways, multiple criteria, rather than, for example, standard efficiency measures, need to be used to assess (anticipated) technology performance and to guide technology deployment. The chapter closes with a critical perspective on the legal and economic instruments that currently dominate conventional economic policies and the growth objective for which they are used.

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Matthias Ruth

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Edited by Matthias Ruth

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Edited by Matthias Ruth

This volume presents methods to advance the understanding of interdependencies between the well-being of human societies and the performance of their biophysical environment. It showcases applications to material and energy use; urbanization and technological transition; economic growth and social vulnerabilities; development and governance of social and industrial networks; the role of history, culture, and science itself in carrying out analysis and guiding policy; as well as the role of theory, data, and models in guiding decisions.
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María E. Ibarrarán and Matthias Ruth

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Edited by Matthias Ruth and María E. Ibarrarán

Climate change tends to increase the frequency and intensity of weather-related disasters, which puts many people at risk. Economic, social and environmental impacts further increase vulnerability to disasters and tend to set back development, destroy livelihoods, and increase disparity nationally and worldwide. This book addresses the differential vulnerability of people and places, introducing concepts and methods for analysis and illustrating the impact on local, regional, national, and global scales.