This Nobel Peace Prize themed for Sustainable Development not only recognizes achievement but also seeks to improve our future sustainability. It is not a new Nobel Prize, it is a Peace Prize to be shared by 3 nominees whose work is foundational and seminal in the field of sustainable development.
The award of a Nobel Peace Prize to these key figures in the field of Sustainable Development would help with a paradigm shift away from the present unsustainable extractive, consumptive, and wasteful economic development model. We therefore propose that the Peace Prize be jointly awarded to:
- The Club of Rome for bold foresight in commissioning the Limits to Growth study done at MIT in the early 1970s. The Limits to Growth remains the most published title in the environmental literature of all time, serving as the foundation of the fields of sustainability and sustainable development.
- Dr. Herman Daly, for revolutionizing our thinking by placing the human economy within the finite ecology of our small, shared planet by his founding role in the creation of Ecological Economics. a trans-disciplinary field that integrates economics, ecology, and ethics, with thousands of practitioners, researchers and university lecturers and professors world-wide.
- Jorge Mario Bergoglio, otherwise known as Pope Francis, for his focusing his papacy on sustainability, as evidenced in the 2015 papal encyclical Laudato Si’. He bravely challenges the status quo of an unsustainable development model that has created gross social inequities and undermined the sustainability of human civilization.
As so many studies indicate, the ecosystems of Earth have been seriously disrupted by humanity’s unsustainable development practices. Adoption of a model of truly sustainable development has never been more urgently needed, and its champions warrant recognition. Our present unsustainable mainstream model of development is a flawed model that presumes the possibility of unlimited, exponential growth. The resulting continued overshoot of Earth’s ecological capacities will result increasingly in famine, flood, drought, political turmoil within and between nations, and mass migrations of environmental and climate refugees. Indeed, the environmental and economic roots of the current refugee crises are intimately related. Without the adoption of true sustainable development on a grand scale humanity’s future prospects for peace and security are slim.
Humanity’s highest honor is the Nobel Peace Prize. A Peace Prize themed for true sustainable development honoring the contributions of these three nominees will also contribute to a legacy of greater sustainability. You very likely know people who are qualified nominators since there are so many worldwide. You may even be qualified yourself. For instance, qualified nominators include members of national assemblies and governments of states as well as university professors (full, associate, and emeritus) of history, law, philosophy, theology/religion, and all of the social sciences. Wikipedia lists well over 200 branches of the ‘social sciences’ in its incomplete list here.