Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Approaching Limits to Growth

An increasing number of reports (e.g. “A global energy war looms“, in today’s Telegraph) of looming energy and food shortages, depletion of other scarce natural resources (such as rare earth metals), environmental degradation, climate change and overpopulation, makes me think that we are now fast approaching the “limits to growth” on our finite and vulnerable planet, predicted decades ago – at least since the early 1970s – but effectively ignored by politicians, business interests and the media, who wanted to continue, not just with business and consumption as usual, but by putting consumer-capitalism into turbo mode, so that NOW, instead of having turned the super tanker, which is the global economy, away from the rocks of non-sustainability, or at least being well on the way to doing so, we are STILL heading directly towards them, only even faster (and with DOUBLE the population) than we were before.
Tragically, it seems, the magnitude of the catastrophe we are heading towards will only be recognised in retrospect, by those who survive; who will wonder, WHY those in positions of power and influence, especially in academia and the media, where the best educated, most intelligent and, one would have hoped, impartial, with their central role in advising governments and shaping public opinion, reside, were so BLIND and DEAF to all the warnings.
In fact, it would be a good idea to start wondering about it NOW, because although it is surely too late to prevent the supertanker, Global Economy, from striking the rocks of Earth’s finite resources and carrying capacity, and the massive loss of life which will accompany it, it is not too late to reduce the impact of the catastrophe and loss of life, and increase, at least our OWN children’s chances of survival and recovery.

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