# Think2050

Planetary boundaries and Future Generations

There are nine agreed planetary or biophysical boundaries that define the conditions that maintain the delicate balance for the earth’s ecosystems. It is also becoming increasingly understood that if one or more of these boundaries are breached and this delicate balance tipped even slightly out of kilter, the ramifications have the potential to undermine the conditions that have encouraged life to flourish on earth as we know it.”

“It might seem challenging to think about these issues, but just because we might not understand the complex process of cause and effect in relation to whole ecosystems, it shouldn’t be a reason to continue living as if it doesn’t exist at all. This is especially important if we consider our responsibility to hand over a healthy, well-balanced and thriving earth to our posterity. If we do accept this responsibility and we do aspire to minimising our negative impacts on earth, we must pay attention to the boundaries that determine the safe, well-established and well-understood operating systems that allow life to flourish.  If we do not, breaching the boundaries might not necessarily bode ill for us today, but it will bode ill for generations to come.

First published 09 August 2011, on the eric-group website.


The trustees of endowed institutions are the guardians of the future against the claims of the present. Their task in managing the endowment is to preserve equity among generations.
James Tobin, leading new economic thinker.  Thanks to New Zealand Youth Delegation for the write up on this