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Interlinkages and forecasting made possible by the use of the DECOIN analytical tool kit
Giampietro, Mario; Sorman Hadiye, Alevgul
This technical report is a document prepared as a deliverable [D4.3 Report of the Interlinkages and forecasting prototype tool] of a EU project – DECOIN Project No. 044428 - FP6-2005-SSP-5A. The text is divided into 4 sections: (1) this short introductory section explains the purpose of the report; (2) the second section provides a general discussion of a systemic problem found in existing quantitative analysis of sustainability. It addresses the epistemological implications of complexity, which entails the need of dealing with the existence of Multiple-Scales and non-equivalent narratives (multiple dimensions/attributes) to be used to define sustainability issues. There is an unavoidable tension between a “steady-state view” (= the perception of what is going on now – reflecting a PAST --& PRESENT view of the reality) versus an “evolutionary view” (= the unknown transformation that we have to expect in the process of becoming of the observed reality and in the observer – reflecting a PRESENT --& FUTURE view of the reality). The section ends by listing the implications of these points on the choice of integrated packages of sustainability indicators; (3) the third section illustrates the potentiality of the DECOIN toolkit for the study of sustainability trade-offs and linkages across indicators using quantitative examples taken from cases study of another EU project (SMILE). In particular, this section starts by addressing the existence of internal constraints to sustainability (economic versus social aspects). The narrative chosen for this discussion focuses on the dark side of ageing and immigration on the economic viability of social systems. Then the section continues by exploring external constraints to sustainability (economic development vs the environment). The narrative chosen for this discussion focuses on the dark side of current strategy of economic development based on externalization and the “bubbles-disease”; (4) the last section presents a critical appraisal of the quality of energy data found in energy statistics. It starts with a discussion of the general goal of statistical accounting. Then it introduces the concept of multipurpose grammars. The second part uses the experience made in the activities of the DECOIN project to answer the question: how useful are EUROSTAT energy statistics? The answer starts with an analysis of basic epistemological problems associated with accounting of energy. This discussion leads to the acknowledgment of an important epistemological problem: the unavoidable bifurcations in the mechanism of accounting needed to generate energy statistics. By using numerical example the text deals with the following issues: (i) the pitfalls of the actual system of accounting in energy statistics; (ii) a critical appraisal of the actual system of accounting in BP statistics; (iii) a critical appraisal of the actual system of accounting in Eurostat statistics. The section ends by proposing an innovative method to represent energy statistics which can result more useful for those willing develop sustainability indicators.
2009-06
504 - Ciències del medi ambient
Desenvolupament sostenible
Indicadors ambientals -- Mètodes estadístics
Energia -- Estadístiques
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Report
Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals
Reports on Environmental Sciences;2009-1
         

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