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Title: A new dimension in evolution: Impacts of human consciousness on sustainability - and beyond

Author: McKenna, Charles M. Jr.;

Date: 2006

Source: In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 410-429

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Starting with the concepts of the “noosphere” -- the sphere of thought -- and the evolution of consciousness developed by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in the first half of the last century, we will introduce a hypothesis declaring the interdependence of the noosphere with global systems, and extrapolate to new perceptions that these concepts, and others which seem to flow from them, could contribute to transforming historic views into more hopeful visions of the future of human development and life on Earth. Just as mental outlook plays an important part in each person’s life path, so also do the ideas and world-views -- limiting or expanding -- held by the global community affect the assumptions, boundaries, and decisions of the human family as we discover who we are in an ever-evolving existence of increasing knowledge and change. Approaching the issue of sustainability from an engineer’s point of view, we quickly see, as stated in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Implementation Plan for its newly promulgated Environmental Operating Principles, that it demands “…a new view of engineering that embraces the physical and biological sciences as well as those of the social and economic disciplines. …This shift in our understanding of engineering will be huge.” The paper will discuss three additional hypotheses as part of the movement toward sustainability; “moving from passive-reactive to active-creative world views,” “the breakdown of the false dualism between nature and human activity,” and “human thought and breaking the glass barrier between historical world views and a new paradigm that opens the door to new opportunities,” and will go on to discuss policy initiatives and technology development that would align with these new perspectives.

Keywords: monitoring, assessment, sustainability, Western Hemisphere, sustainable management, ecosystem resources, noosphere, evolution of consciousness

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McKenna, Charles M. Jr. 2006. A new dimension in evolution: Impacts of human consciousness on sustainability - and beyond. In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 410-429

 


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