The Newsletter 66 Winter 2013

Sustainable humanosphere in global history

Kaoru Sugihara

How do we place the recent experiences of Southeast Asia into a global context, when considering relationships between industrialization and environmental sustainability over the long run? In this brief essay, I frame this question within the context of a large-scale Global COE program ‘In search of Sustainable Humanosphere’, which was initiated by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University (2007-12). In this research program we use the term ‘humanosphere’ to refer to the environment in which humans live, and we consider the conditions under which a humanosphere has been sustainable. We define the humanosphere as an integrated whole made up of the geosphere, biosphere and human society (chart opposite). Our interests concern the effects of human interventions on the basic sustainability of the earth, and the extent to which industrialization has been responsible for changes.


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