NASA's Earth Observatory

Grand Challenges in Environmental Sciences (2001)
National Research Council (more titles from NRC)

WHO is writing?
I am one of the 170 authors, one out of three not from the US!, happy to listed, but sad for not being informed what my contribution as "author" is or was or could be.

WHY I am writing?
When studying the Challenges you must have missed the work we did 10 years ago (GLOBAL CHANGE exhibition in the German Chancellery, but unfortunately not being very public (as the BERLIN wall came down these days, and the public and political focus was "LOCAL" or elsewhere...

WHY I am writing?
I feel we have as GEO-SCINTISTS a unique opportunity to make use of our modes of thinking and tool-boxes.

Unfortunately these posters were not up-dated and the concepts not really developed much further, but I feel it might be of some interest to share some efforts.

WHY I am writing?
We have just published in the KNOW-MAP Magazine a series of 3 sections under the title: SPACIAL versus SPATIAL: Part I : Setting Common Frames of Reference, Part II : Spacial Knowledge Maps and Knowledge Models and Part III Panoramic Thinking and End of This Journey

Which show what I mean and where I feel GEO-SCIENCES can help to develop some new shared models and perspectives to better raise public awareness and understanding:
With regard to the "Challenges we face as Humanity" pls. see also my comment to: IS HUMANITY DESTINED ..? in POLICY AND LIFE SCIENCES called "SHOW or SCHAU?":
You might also be interested to know that we in GERMANY with the ALFRED WEGENENER FOUNDATION:

or for the HANS JONAS SYMPOSIUM have been showing the ETHICAL DIMENSIONS: (with TIME AND SPACE horizon):

where we have been looking how to share a long view, broader perspectives and responsibilities.

WHY I am writing?
I see much hope that new tools for integration and communication we have developped in the field of visualization, modelling and the GEOSCIENCES in general can be applied fast and easily by helping a UN, G7 and and HARMONIAZATION project we started with meta-data concepts in the late 80ies can get some new infusions and new mindsets needed to tackle the long-standing mandate !

WHY I am writing?
I feel your CHALLENGES need and can be seen in a broader perspective. I cordially invite you to have a look at the new AC/UNU Millennium Report:

Executive Summary (6 pages)   1. Global Challenges (424 pages)
General description with comments and a range of views, Regional perspectives, Actions to address the challenge with a range of views, Indicators to measure progress on the challenge,....

I am very excited to have learned about your report and hope we can share some more views and experiences across the seas... and along and across scales and cultures.
Heiner Benking