Sustainable development

The Earth is limited in size, and thus limited in most resources or in their influx from the sun in the case of energy .

On the other hand we are presently living in a consumption society which aims at maximizing consumtion, thus increasing natural resource usage and pollution.

Increases in the size of human population and per capita use of resource could result in resource depletion and generized pollution if our society reaches the limits of resource exploitation. The present regime of increase of resource exploitation cannot carry on for ever, and we have to define possible sustainable societies, i.e. societies which do not overgrow so as to endanger their environment. The dynamics of possible transitions from the present regime to sustainable regimes is also a subject of interest.

Scientists involved in this research generally agree to the necessity of mathematical models coupling ecological resources dynamics with economical variables. Our group specialises in the role of cognitive variables in the process. Economic choices involving the environment depend upon how much agents care about it and what they understand of it, and these "cognitive" variables are themselves coupled to the state of the environment.

We are presently investigating how agents internal representations control their choices of non polluting devices and how they decide about renewable resource exploitation .