Why is sobriety necessary, and the obstacles to its implementation? (in French)
26 November 2019
(Français) La notion de sobriété renvoie à une distinction implicite entre désirs et besoins, la distinction entre...More info
The work of the STEEP team is based on the following observation: the lifestyles of the so-called “rich” countries (OECD countries) are incompatible with planetary boundaries in terms of resource availability but also in terms of environmental impacts. This exceeding of limits generates an erosion of the Earth system’s capacity to support life and our societies. The collapse of biodiversity, climate change, water scarcity, soil erosion, etc. are only symptoms of this. Moreover, the deadlines corresponding to the depletion of a certain number of critical non-renewable resources (liquid fossil fuels, metals, phosphorus, potassium, etc.) are incompatible with our ability to substitute these resources.
Exceeding global limits is directly linked to our consumption and production patterns, which are also inherently vulnerable. Faced with these observations, we set ourselves the objective of providing answers to the following issues:
This issue raises a number of questions:
The STEEP team develops methods and tools to diagnose and evaluate sociotechnical alternatives at different territorial scales. The team focuses in particular on their evaluation in terms of environmental impacts and resilience to the various shocks that our society will now undergo. Our objective is to provide operational tools by integrating directly into participatory decision support protocols.
The analytical approach constructing the models and the participatory approach allowing collective decisions to be made must be carried out in a complementary manner.
We wish to shed light on the debate, necessarily political, that must be conducted in order to decide in which directions to undertake the transition to a more sustainable society. To this end, we intend to describe, with their advantages and disadvantages, different possibilities rather than producing a prescription of what should be implemented.
The importance of the issues we are facing requires great scientific rigor for the analytical part as well as ethical rigor for the political questions.
This research requires a multidisciplinary approach, an open mind and the necessary hindsight to address these issues in all their complexity.