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Essays and Presentations on Sustainable Development issues

The items on this page are not peer-reviewed academic research papers, but a selection of essays, presentations, reports, thoughts, ideas and "what-if" scenarios.

If you have anything you would like to be included, please email 

Scotland: sustainable communities in 2030

Scotland’s Futures Forum published in September 2010 a scenario project looking at what Scotland’s sustainable communities might look like in 2030.  This project produced three scenarios titled (i) opportunities missed (ii) opportunities taken and, (iii) opportunities uninvited. Each scenario is accompanied by a short film as well as a podcast to describe what life might be like in 2030 Scotland. This work was done in conjunction with the University of St Andrews School of Management and also involved Nick Barter of SASI.  Details of this project can be found at the following link (

Closed Loop Servicing of the Sony PlayStation

A case study exploring how remanufacturing can be used to service Sony PlayStation has recently been published on the European Case Clearing House (  This case explores how remanufacturing can increase turnaround time as well as helping to decrease the requirement for new components, thus decreasing environmental burdens.  The case and supporting teaching note was written by Dr Andrew King of Bristol University, Dr Kieren Myers of Yale and Nick Barter of SASI.

Moral Sustainability and Cycling

by Robert Nelson, Monash University, Australia.

This book argues that green resolutions, like commuting by bike, are seldom sustained by the contemporary competitive individual. Coining the term ‘moral sustainability’ (a kind of personal renewable resolve) the text investigates how we can reliably overcome anxiety-driven patterns of consumption. The book analyses how we formulate ambitions, how we get to work, set up images for ourselves and use our bodies. With a fresh phenomenology of cycling and the electric bike, this book answers the puzzle: how environmentalism and fitness can become sustainable for busy people locked into anxious aspirations.

Download the pdf book Moral Sustainability and Cycling (PDF, 2,309 KB)

Carbon Reduction in the USA

The finger is often pointed at the USA for not signing up to Kyoto, but many states and cities are already doing their bit to fight climate change. This document << USA Kyoto type targets (PDF, 13 KB)>>is a rough and ready pass of how many citizens in the USA are already covered by Kyoto-type carbon reduction targets. 

Reducing carbon emissions - the view from 2050

In 2008, the David Hume Institute in Edinburgh commissioned a series of "imagineering" essays from leading voices in the political, business, infrastructure and environmental sectors, as well as from consumer and  youth representatives. Contributors were asked to consider themselves as being in 2050, with the Scottish Government's 80% greenhouse gas emission reduction target having been achieved, and to set out how this came about and what were the consequences - as narrow or wide as contributors wished. The final report was presented at a special seminar in October 2008

Jan Bebbington's essay can be viewed here << Jan Bebbington 2050 scenario (PDF, 28 KB) >>

The final report may be downloaded from the David Hume Institute Website