Thursday, March 1, 2012

The End of Growth

War is upon us – not a war between nations, though there are plenty of examples of that, but one for the very survival of the entirety of human civilization. As estimated by the 2010 Living Planet Report we are currently using our planetary resources 50% faster than what the Earth can renew. If we extrapolate into the future from our rates of growth up to this point in history, by 2050 when populations are expected to reach an estimated 9.3 billion human beings, we will require around two and a quarter planet Earths worth of resources.

One doesn't need a PHD in mathematics – or a degree in anything for that matter – to understand that extending ourselves that far above a sustainable level with no convenient planet Earths waiting in the wings is a recipe for collective disaster and untold misery.

And for those techno enthusiasts – I counted myself as a member of this group until very recently* – who believe the ingenuity of our scientists, inventors & entrepreneurs will rise to the occasion and create an ever-increasing bounty for all (I certainly hope they pull some techno-rabbits out of their hats!) holding such beliefs in the face of what we are up against now is a dangerous position to take when considering the very large downside that more likely will come by ignoring the evidence and keeping the gas pedal pressed to the floor.

Damn, looks like another grim post from me! Sorry folks!

Considering the spine-chilling information above, all is by no means lost and why this next TED presentation from Paul Gilding is a must see for every man, woman and child on the planet – not just to fully comprehend what we are now all up against, but also what we can do together to move past our destructive adolescence and into a responsible sustainable adulthood.

Paul Gilding – The Earth is Full

* If you are wondering why my techno enthusiasm has tapered off as of late, I refer you to the extraordinary insightful blog from University of California, San Diego Physics Professor Tom Murphy who over the past few months has detailed the very stark realities & tradeoffs of moving to sustainable sources of energy. Check out these posts specifically: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]. ← Come on! There's not that many. You can do it!

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