It’s really weird, I know, to want to draw lessons from this repeat lockdown to the point of turning it into an almost metaphysical experience.
Unless and until we accept that we must live within ecological limits, then climate change will not be adequately tackled. Energy and resource consumption must be addressed through controlled economic contraction.
All paths out of overshoot (genuine solutions) involve a contraction of the species and a decline of material/energy throughput. There are no exceptions.
What this paper is exploring is why humanity, but more importantly the people who really should know better – the economists – can’t see the effects that we’re having on the planet.
Humans today stand in gross violation of our pact with nature. We are egregiously in breach of contract. Our protections are thereby revoked.
From its beginnings more than five centuries ago, European colonization has been based on an unsustainable exploitation of resources.
Slowing growth in population and in consumption of materials and energy will not eliminate the problem. But it would reduce the pressure to increase efficiency and leave more possibility for increasing resilience.
Surely it is within our collective imagination to socially construct a system of globally networked but self-reliant national economies that better serve the needs of a smaller human family.
The ultimate goal of economic planning everywhere must now turn to ensuring that humanity can thrive indefinitely and more equitably within the biophysical means of nature.
This episode of Crazy Town focuses on the limits to growth, including the growth imperatives built into our economic institutions, and explores how the economy could make a shift toward sustainability. Along the way, Asher, Rob, and Jason take some potshots at Ronnie and his cohort of math-challenged wishful thinkers.
To the extent that we are today eroding the carrying capacity on which future generations would otherwise depend, our way of life could be characterized as intergenerational “predation”; to put it crudely, the old are “eating” the young.
August 1 was Earth Overshoot Day, the date when we have taken more from nature than it can renew in an entire year. Unsustainable extraction is occurring on a planetary scale: we are using natural resources 1.7 times faster in 2018 than the Earth’s ecosystems can regenerate this year.
It seems that the short lived cycles of electoral politics means that politicians chase short-term goals, rather than tackling problems such as climate change which require long-term, global thinking. The test of a capable politician in 2018 is whether they take a stand against cavalier resource extraction.