What people take from nature – water, food, timber, inspiration, relaxation – are so abundant, it seems self-evident. Until you try to quantitatively understand how and to what extent they contribute to humans.
In today’s world, where competition for and degradation of natural resources increases globally, it becomes ever more crucial to quantify the value of ecosystem services – the precise term that defines nature’s benefits, and even more important to link how different types of ecosystem services affect various components of human well-being.
Buying an energy-efficient appliance or light bulb can seem like a green act and a good idea.
But that depends on if the buyer is red or blue.
Thomas Dietz of the Michigan State University’s Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability and colleagues muse on the complexities consumers exhibit when deciding whether or not to put their money where their carbon footprint is.
The Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability at Michigan State University integrates ecology with socioeconomics, demography and other disciplines for ecological sustainability from local, national to global scales.
Coupled Human and Natural Systems(CHANS) are integrated systems in which humans and natural components interact. CHANS research has recently emerged as an exciting and integrative field of cross-disciplinary scientific inquiry to find sustainable solutions that both benefit the environment and enable people to thrive. Visit CHANS-Net, the international network of research on coupled human and natural systems, for information and ways to engage.