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Metaphors and Systemic Change

O'Riordan, T, Lenton, T and Christie, I (2014) Metaphors and Systemic Change

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© The British Academy 2013. All rights reserved.Tipping points are metaphors of sudden change, of fear, of falling, of foreboding, and of failure. Tipping points are thresholds of tolerance, of bifurcation, and of transformation which are built into complex systems of transformation. Sudden change can arise from earth system phase changes (for example in the condition of ice, ocean acidity, drying of the tropical forests and the onset of monsoons). But they can also depict rapid shifts in geopolitics, local and regional conflicts, and in economic performance with implications for the well-being of societies all over the globe. The patterns of suddenness and aftermath of physical and socio-economic systems vary greatly. Tipping points can lead to unintended worsening, to induced vulnerabilities, to chaos and confusion in communication, and to the scope for restorative redirection. The scope for benign transformation is an intrinsic aspect of the tipping point metaphor.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
O'Riordan, T
Lenton, T
Date : 30 January 2014
DOI : 10.5871/bacad/9780197265536.003.0001
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 13:36
Last Modified : 25 Jan 2020 00:10

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