Reference : Sustainability indicators
Parts of books : Contribution to collective works
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Education & instruction
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Sustainable Development
Sustainability indicators
Ravetz, Jerome []
Hild, Paula mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Thunus, Olivier []
Bollati, Julien []
Sustainability Science
König, Ariane mailto
Ravetz, Jerome
[en] indicator ; ecological footprint
[en] In our science-based society, we are surrounded by indicators. At every turn they tell us where we are, how we compare, where we should or should not be and whether we are moving towards or away from the desired or undesired state. Wealth and health of individuals, communities and natural systems are conveyed by indicators. Their representations include numbers, graphs, dials, letters, symbols and colours. And they vary in reliability, from the gauge that says your car’s engine temperature is ‘normal’, to the prediction that next month’s weather temperatures will be ‘normal’. They are one of the main channels whereby the citizen interacts with science. How can the citizen make good decisions in the midst of this jungle of indicators? The citizen might well ask, “What do I really know, when I’m told that I have an Ecological Footprint of 4.1 global hectares? And then what should I do about it?”

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