The Pending Resource Crisis

Ever wonder why it's so hard for us -- individually and collectively -- to consistently make sustainable choices? For example, we know that many of our natural resources are scarce and on the decline, but it's still a challenge for us to make choices that reflect that reality. How does the human experience as a biological being -- brains, behavior, and beliefs -- impact our shared decision-making on such critical topics?

The University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships is sponsoring a presentation by Nate Hagens of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, University of Vermont and editor of The Oil Drum. The Hagens presentation, entitled "The Pending Resource Crisis: Understanding Our Biophysical and Biological Constraints to Sustainability," will take place on December 3 at 1:30 p.m. in 335 Borlaug Hall.

Hagens posits that by acknowledging and understanding both our biophysical (resource depletion) and biological (cognitive barriers, habituation, and belief systems) constraints we will be better able to choose cultural opportunities for sustainability. He draws upon and synthesizes recent research in cognitive neuroscience, neuroeconomics, and evolutionary biology and their applications to sustainable behaviors in addressing energy and environmental limits. Ultimately Hagens looks for those solutions that aligned us with not only what we have, but who we are.

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