Is Life On Earth As We know It Sustainable?

Posted on 10/16/2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

According to Paul Gilding, former director of Greenpeace International and now on the faculty at Cambridge University, and author of the book, The Great Disruption, the earth’s capacity to sustain human use of the earths resources had been exceeded in 1988 and it would now require 1.4 planets to sustain the current use of resources. In other words humanity on earth is now beyond the point of no return and is headed for the Great Disruption and life on earth as we know it will be changed forever. Malthusians concerns are being validated. 

What is happening is perfectly logical and understandable. A finite identity, the earth, cannot sustain infinite growth. This is a truism that most educated and reasonable people must understand but it has been ignored as an inconvenient truth that does not fit into the general order of things. The general order of things includes an economic model that depends on growth and an ever greater need  for the earths nonrenewable resources. The general order of things does not include preservation of an environment that makes human life possible and sustainable  on planet earth.
Gilding is and optimist, and while he paints a stark picture of what is in store for the earth and its inhabitants, he has great faith in our ability to react, innovate and cooperate when forced into a corner and that the day will be saved and a real transformation will take place that will produce a sustainable economy built on equality, quality of life and harmony with the ecosystem.
It is likely that not too far in the future we will find out if Gilding’s optimism is warranted.
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A Bigger Problem

Posted on 09/30/2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

The PushBack story describes a national disaster set off by the deficit crisis. There may be a bigger problem lurking in the near future. A recent article in National Geographic has changed my perspective with regards to global warming. I had thought of it as a problem which would cause major adjustments but it would be something that we could and likely would have to live with. Not so. The article describes a scenario that would be the end of life as we know it on planet earth and is based an a historic event that took place 56 million years age. Like today, there had been an event that caused a large spike in the CO2 in the atmosphere. Likely volcanic activity. The CO2 caused a warming that triggered a series of events which caused all of of the earth’s snow and ice to melt, sea levels to rise 200 feet and water temperatures at the north pole to rise to over 70 degrees. It is theorized that the events that brought about this calamity had been the thawing of the Arctic Tundra and a warming ocean releasing huge amounts of methane gas, which is twenty times better at raising the earth’s temperature than CO2. The process fed on itself. See:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/10/hothouse-earth/kunzig-text

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