Geoethical perspectives on meeting the resource needs of future generations
Meeting the resource needs of future generations is one of the greatest challenges facing global society – one in which geoscientists have a vital role to play. Adequate supplies of food and water must be secured, and health and education assured for all. Moreover, developing countries rightly expect to achieve similar increases in their citizens’ standards of living to those experienced by richer countries in the 20th century. These aspirations, and the industrial development which underpins them, will create unprecedented global demand for energy and natural resources, just as we understand more fully the impact of winning and using these resources on the environment.|The scientific and technical skills of geoscientists are essential in addressing the complex challenges of meeting these ‘georesource’ needs sustainably. But their decisions and activities also have significant ethical implications affecting society and the environment, as they find themselves at the heart of debates about how to reconcile human and economic development with environmental protection and safeguarding the interests of future generations. Geoethics provides a valuable framework in which to consider the values on which we should base ethical professional behaviours, and how these should be put into practice, as we seek to locate the work of geoscientists in its wider social and ethical context. This session is a joint initiative of IAPG, GSL, EFG and EGS. The conveners invite papers addressing how geoethical perspectives can be brought to bear on the challenges of sustainably meeting future demand for georesources, including energy, groundwater and numerous mineral commodities.
Sylvia Peppoloni, Nic Bilham, Vitor Correia and Luca Demicheli