From hard evidence to exploring uncertain futures
by Pieter Leroy
- a brief history of environmental reporting -
'Weak signals and emerging issues' not only herald this year's summer school of the Labex COTE. In fact, these buzz words also illustrate recent trends in environmental reporting and, thereby, in the way we conceive and approach environmental issues. This introduction looks back on 30 years of environmental reporting. Not only did we evolve from 'environmental' to 'sustainability' indicators, we increasingly payed attention to larger, systemic trends and constraints, and were looking for opportunities for societal transformations. These ontological shifts went parallel with another way of dealing with uncertainty, both scientifically and politically. Concepts such as 'weak signals and emerging issues', therefore, seem the latest landmarks in this exploration of uncertainty.