Consilience https://journals.library.columbia.edu/index.php/consilience <h4 style="text-align: justify;"><strong><em>Consilience</em> is an online journal dedicated to promoting interdisciplinary dialogue on sustainable development. The journal aims to bring students, researchers, professors, and practitioners from a variety of disciplines and geographical regions in direct conversation with each other through an online, academically rigorous medium. We hope to encourage a global community to think more broadly, thoroughly, and analytically about sustainable development.</strong></h4> Columbia University Libraries en-US Consilience 1948-3074 Water Quality Pilot Study for Traditional Water Structure Revitalization Potential in the Deccan Plateau of India https://journals.library.columbia.edu/index.php/consilience/article/view/6739 <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Traditional water structures such as stepwells and canal systems historically function as sustainable water sources. They are advantageous within India’s cyclic climate of flooding and drought, especially in regions of the Deccan plateau. Structures in the Deccan particularly tend to leverage laterite, a porous, geological feature specific to the region. Laterite is especially useful for collecting and maintaining water from surrounding aquifers, permitting reliable storage of water even during the dry season. Unfortunately, many of these structures have been damaged, polluted, and misused. This pilot study investigates the water quality of traditional water structures in the western Deccan Plateau region of India and their potential for revitalization. Samples were drawn from traditional water structures and domestic taps located across Central Maharashtra and Northern Karnataka. Water quality parameters were converted into a single water quality index (WQI) to characterize their current state. Qualitative site information such as degree of conservation and visible pollution level are compared via WQI. Quality amongst some traditional water structures was discovered to be comparable to domestic drinking sources despite a lack of conservation and usage in the former. Some sites exhibited strong potential for revitalization as domestic and agricultural water sources. Finally, a detailed case study of a <em>Karez</em> system in Bidar outlines current characteristics, challenges, and future work in promoting sustainable development practices for revitalizing traditional water structures.</p> </div> </div> </div> Jonathan Bessette Eric Niblock Copyright (c) 2020 Consilience 2020-07-20 2020-07-20 22 6 17 10.7916/consilience.vi22.6739 National Culture and Urban Resilience: A Case Study of Resilient Cities https://journals.library.columbia.edu/index.php/consilience/article/view/6740 <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>As climate change, population growth, and globalization create new challenges for cities around the world, it is imperative that urban areas take steps to increase their resilience. Previous research has shown that national culture, or the beliefs and attitudes that guide behavior, can play a significant role in shaping the values of a nation’s citizens. With more and more cities designing urban resilience plans, it is highly relevant to assess the role that national culture plays in the creation of these plans. Through a qualitative content analysis of 71 urban resilience plans from 27 countries around the world using Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory, this research assesses whether and how national culture influences urban resilience efforts. The results of the analysis show that, for many cities, urban resilience efforts are not strongly influenced by national culture, but instead share a common thread of being inclusive, future-oriented, and prioritizing quality of life over profits.</p> </div> </div> </div> Madison Cilk Copyright (c) 2020 Consilience 2020-07-20 2020-07-20 22 18 30 10.7916/consilience.vi22.6740 Complications of the Climate Change Narrative within the Lives of Climate Refugees: Slow Causality and Apocalyptic Themes https://journals.library.columbia.edu/index.php/consilience/article/view/6741 <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>With projections of rapidly increasing numbers of climate refugees in the next decades, the discourse surrounding climate refugees becomes ever more pertinent within the field of sustainable development and the public sphere. I offer an alternative analysis of the processes which surround “knowing” and “defining” climate refugees by employing an interpretive framework which disseminates the term “narrative” according to Jean François Lyotard’s <em>The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge</em>. In the discourse surrounding climate refugees, two main narratives interact with each other: the dominant climate change narrative and the individual narratives of climate refugees themselves. I contend that the dominant narrative of climate change complicates the narratives of climate change refugees through specific characteristics of climate change discourse, specifically, the temporal characteristics of slow causality and apocalyptic themes as evinced in two case studies, one in the small town of Shishmaref, Alaska and the other in the Maldives. Through researching and examining the thematic elements featured in narration, we gain a fuller comprehension of the personal narratives of climate refugees. The dominant climate change discourses permeate almost all environmental issues, and therefore, the field of sustainable development continuously confronts and interacts with such discourses. Furthermore, one aspect of sustainable development involves the ongoing circumstances of forced migration due to climate change. Illuminating the ways in which the dominant climate change narrative reduces the personal narratives of climate refugees compels us to look towards climate refugees themselves as sources for their own narratives instead of permitting the dominant narratives to overshadow their experiences.</p> </div> </div> </div> Raphaella Mascia Copyright (c) 2020 Consilience 2020-07-20 2020-07-20 22 31 38 10.7916/consilience.vi22.6741 Sustainable Cities and the Internet of Things (IOT) Technology https://journals.library.columbia.edu/index.php/consilience/article/view/6742 <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>In this paper, I aim to understand how IOT technology can improve the development of smart cities’ infra- structures and alleviate the strains of population growth. In order to understand this inquiry, I will begin by defining IOT technology. Then I will examine the function and capabilities of IOT technology and how it helps smart cities’ urban devel- opment in areas such as architectural, agricultural, safety and surveillance, and health and sanitary needs. I will develop a prognosis that provides targeted solutions for how IOT can specifically reduce urban population strains and challenges in particular urban sectors, and analyze the environmental implications of IOT technology. Lastly, in the discussion section, I propose applying sustainable frameworks, that can incorporate IOT technology, and showcase IOT weaknesses. This research concludes with describing the impact of implementing IOT technologies to address specific urban infrastructure and overcrowding problems. It can allow readers to view the interdisciplinary potential of sustainability with the use of technology, environmental science, and engineering, and social science through urban development and planning. Internet of things technology, through a cross disciplinary approach, can alleviate and resolve humanity’s rising problems.</p> </div> </div> </div> Nicole Drepaul Copyright (c) 2020 Consilience 2020-07-20 2020-07-20 22 39 47 10.7916/consilience.vi22.6742 Environmental Sustainability and Human Capital Development https://journals.library.columbia.edu/index.php/consilience/article/view/6746 <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>This study utilizes a multiple log regression model to examine how markers of environmental wellbeing are able to explain disparities in human capital globally. This paper utilizes data from The World Bank to examine relationships between emissions, air pollution, land and water conservation, renewable energy reliance, development status, and human capital levels. The results find that carbon emissions and particulate matter air pollution are the largest environmental predictors of human capital index scores, and that the positive relationship between carbon emissions and human capital level all but disappears amongst developed nations. This study fills a gap in the literature, providing a non-geographically isolated examination of particularly relevant explanatory variables, as opposed to solely utilizing index scores.</p> </div> </div> </div> Zachary Porreca Copyright (c) 2020 Consilience 2020-07-20 2020-07-20 22 48 57 10.7916/consilience.vi22.6746 Reuse of Human Excreta in Developing Countries: Agricultural Fertilization Optimization https://journals.library.columbia.edu/index.php/consilience/article/view/6732 <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>In developing nations, 1.2 billion people suffer from a lack of a basic sanitation system and fecal sludge manage- ment challenges, despite many efforts to combat this issue. Fecal sludge is a mixture of waste, including human excreta, soil, and water. Human excreta contains a significant amount of nutrients that can be used in agricultural fertilizers. The use of human excreta in agricultural fertilizers would reduce the need for artificial fertilizers and improve human excreta disposal through the use of composting and vermicomposting toilet systems. In developing nations where soil conditions are poor and fresh water is unavailable, the use of human excreta in fertilizer can ameliorate two problems: low food productivity and lack of sanitation service. Among the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations (UN), ensuring a sani- tation system for everyone addresses the Goal 6, securing food for everyone. Additionally, enhancing low food productivity addresses the second goal of the SDGs, improving low food productivity. Thus, more efficient use of human excreta can help achieve two SDGs at the same time.</p> </div> </div> </div> Risa Sugihara Copyright (c) 2020 Consilience 2020-07-20 2020-07-20 22 58 64 10.7916/consilience.vi22.6732 Light Energy: Our Wasted Resource https://journals.library.columbia.edu/index.php/consilience/article/view/6731 <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Artificial light at night (ALAN) is a form of visual pollution and energy waste that is often overlooked. The International Dark Sky Association estimates that 30% of all lighting is strictly for the outdoors. Furthermore, 30% of all outdoor lighting is wasted, used (1) when not needed, or (2) pointing directly upwards. In 2017, the US wasted approximately 60 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), translating to a loss of more than $6.3 billion and CO2 emissions in excess of 23 billion pounds. ALAN has been linked to reduced production of melatonin, the body’s sleep-regulating hormone, which is associated with increased risk of hormonal cancers including breast and prostate cancer. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) now lists shift work as a type II risk for cancer. Light at night threatens migratory birds, a majority of which fly at night presumably using constellations as their guide. Light pollution paints the sky black, pushing astronomers to ever-shrinking dark zones suitable for studying the universe. In the most severely affected cities, only a handful of stars can be seen where once thousands dazzled gazers. Society’s overreliance on ALAN has resulted in energy waste, adverse health effects, and pervasive pollution contributing to climate change and concealing our starry night sky.</p> </div> </div> </div> Kaitlyn Tatro Copyright (c) 2020 Consilience 2020-07-19 2020-07-19 22 65 72 10.7916/consilience.vi22.6731 The City Sprouted: The Rise of Brasília https://journals.library.columbia.edu/index.php/consilience/article/view/6738 <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>In 1891, Brazil’s constitution decreed that at some point in the future the capital would be moved from Rio de Janeiro to a new location towards the interior of the country. In the 1960s, the capital was moved to Brasília. While one of the wealthiest cities in Brazil today, there were significant costs to building Brasília. This article aims to survey the development of the new capital and the negative externalities which emerged following its development.</p> </div> </div> </div> Jared Kelly Copyright (c) 2020 Consilience 2020-07-20 2020-07-20 22 73 85 10.7916/consilience.vi22.6738 Do young people in Australian educational systems receive adequate support to feel empowered in engaging with Sustainable Development Goals? https://journals.library.columbia.edu/index.php/consilience/article/view/6745 <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>With the anticipated rise of over double the Paris Agreement’s 2°C goal, climate change is likely to jeopardize the pros- perity of future generations. Thus, it has become increasingly apparent that young demographics must be integrated into the process required to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) owing to their disproportionately threatened futures over that of adult demographics. A major barrier to children engaging with SDG progress is evident in Australian educational policies, which fail to provide adequate opportunities for young people. Moreover, a lack of individual autonomy in young people can lead to feelings of disempowerment regarding sustainability. Hence, at the present moment, young people in Australian educational institutions are deprived of adequate support systems that could help them feel empowered by contributing to sustainability progress. Research methods undertaken for this paper include literature review, interviews with Australian students and teachers, research into successful international frameworks for youth programs, policy review, and analysis of Australian educational frameworks. Opportunities for empowerment through education and intergenerational support are vital for children to be integrated into the work of SDGs. This fails to transpire within Australian educational institutions. Although there exist various independent organisations which promote tools for youth empowerment throughout Australia, the lack of wider systematic support results in insufficient accessibility for teachers and students alike. Whilst young people possess the capacity to play a role in politically securitising climate change and the achievement of SDGs, supportive systems are required through structural changes, including policy, to initiate progress.</p> </div> </div> </div> Sarah Morley Copyright (c) 2020 Consilience 2020-07-20 2020-07-20 22 86 92 10.7916/consilience.vi22.6745 Mindscapes and Landscapes: Learning to Adapt in Transnational Climate Adaptation Collaborative in Africa https://journals.library.columbia.edu/index.php/consilience/article/view/6737 <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>This paper foregrounds notions of learning and how they are framed in transnational adaptive capacity building processes. While supporting emerging adaptation governance mechanisms that recognize the boundlessness of climate change impacts, the paper draws attention to learning and the role it plays in such processes. Learning, for the most part, is framed as an event rather than a series of conscious, reflexive, adaptive and multi-layered processes. Such framing, the paper argues, is limiting and is based on flawed understandings of adaptation to climate change. Instead, learning should reflect the underlying complexity of both the climate change phenomenon and socio-ecological systems change processes. This paper argues that current conceptualization of climate change fails to present climate change as emerging, evolving and complex and, in the process, influences how learning in adaptation is perceived, framed and pursued.</p> </div> </div> </div> Bob Offei Manteaw Copyright (c) 2020 Consilience 2020-07-20 2020-07-20 22 93 103 10.7916/consilience.vi22.6737 COVID-19 and Multilateralism https://journals.library.columbia.edu/index.php/consilience/article/view/6729 <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>The world faces its greatest crisis since World War II and its greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression. History shows two ways out of a global crisis: a global leader that guides an effective response—and helps to pay for it—or global cooperation through the UN multilateral framework. Alas, we have no global leader today. The United States today is more a force of destruction than a leader. Our only way forward is cooperation under the UN mandate. Let me explain.</p> </div> </div> </div> Jeffrey Sachs Copyright (c) 2020 Consilience 2020-07-19 2020-07-19 22 1 5 10.7916/consilience.vi22.6729 Note from the Editors https://journals.library.columbia.edu/index.php/consilience/article/view/6730 <p>The Editors reflect on Issue XXII.</p> Amar Bhardwaj Sophia Ahmed Copyright (c) 2020 Consilience 2020-07-19 2020-07-19 22 10.7916/consilience.vi22.6730