20 Years Factor10/MIPS Conzept Essential Terms and Concepts


• Natural resources are understood to mean materials – including fossils -, water, and land, as they are available on planet earth.

• Eco-systemic services and functions are vital for the survival of humans on planet earth.

• In a system sense, environment protection means: the best possible maintenance of eco-systemic services and functions.

• The physical root cause of the continuing destabilization of eco-systemic services and functions is the gigantic mobilization and excessive consumption of natural resources for the production and consumption of technical energy, shelter, food, material wealth and security.

• The ecological quality of goods, services and technical energy depends essentially upon their life-cycle-wide resource intensity (“ecological rucksack”, MIPS).

• Eco-systemic services and functions cannot be created by technology to any noteworthy extent.

• The limitation of physical resources on planet earth, population growth, and the need to protect the eco-systemic services and functions call for an average tenfold increase in resource productivity of western goods and services as well as for providing technical energy.

• The minimization of mobilization, extraction, and use of natural resources should preferably take place at the front end of economic activities.

• The economic root cause for the growing loss of eco-systemic services and functions is the near zero price for using nature.

• The human economy must be constrained to function within the limits of the environment and its resources and in such a way that it works with the grain of, rather than against, natural laws and processes. Sustainability cannot be reached otherwise.

• To measure welfare with GNP is counterproductive from a systems point of view.

• Traditional policies have not been able to prevent the life-threatening deterioration of eco-system services or other serious developments like financial or nuclear meltdowns. Rather than continuing to seek successive solutions for individual problems, system policies must be developed that aim to improve welfare and wellbeing of people by optimizing the efficiency and precautionary nature of measures. This can be achieved by eliminating root causes of (potentially) harmful developments first, rather than separately repairing their symptoms. System policies reduce the risks associated with taking actions. System policies are essential for approaching sustainability. They do not exclude that certain mayor existing problems are treated with priority (e. g. climatic change). However, all solutions must aim at minimizing the use of natural resources. 


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