Week 2: What is sustainability?

Week 2 Overview and Learning Objectives

This week’s lesson serves to introduce the concept of sustainability, by defining it and exploring the connection between humans (the social environment) and the natural environment. We will look at the physical limits of our planet, and review some disturbing global trends. In addition, we will learn the facts about climate change. The lesson ends with a discussion of the Anthropocene Era and the action we can take to ensure our future.

After completing this online lecture, you should be able to define sustainability and discuss the ecological and social pressures facing the world today. You should be familiar with the concepts of ecosystem services, planetary boundaries, renewable versus non-renewable resources, global (un)sustainability trends, climate change, the Anthropocene Era, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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