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Issue 49 - 01 | The Necessary Revolution: Creating a Sustainable Future

By Peter Senge and Bryan Smith
Published Aug. 6, 2008 11:38 p.m.
"The Industrial Era is ending. Its extraordinary successes—advances in literacy, life expectancy, human rights, and technology—have propelled us headlong into a myriad of side effects: food and water shortages, cyclonic destruction, prolonged drought and rising sea levels. To delay acknowledging the need for lifestyle and business changes—'The Necessary Revolution'—risks our very survival.

What only a couple of decades ago was still a vigorous scientific debate has become as close to a consensus as scientific communities ever achieve: human-induced climate change from greenhouse gases concentrating in the atmosphere has reached a threshold of significant social and economic impact—and we are only now at the start of experiencing the effects.

Stabilizing atmospheric carbon dioxide will require a profound reversal: a 60–80% reduction in growing worldwide emissions in the next twenty years. This is the '80–20 Challenge,' and this manifesto presents inspiring, real-life examples of how this is starting to happen."

About Peter Senge and Bryan Smith | Peter Senge, a senior lecturer at MIT, is founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) and the author or co-author of several bestselling books, including The Fifth Discipline, Schools That Learn and Presence. Bryan Smith, coauthor with Senge of The Dance of Change and two other Fifth Discipline fieldbooks, is a member of the faculty at York University’s Sustainable Enterprise Academy and president of Broad Reach Innovations, Inc.

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