What’s at stake in the election?

In the Herald-Sun (14/1/19) Prime Minister, Scott Morrison claims to stand for…

Irresponsible Protections: Venezuela and Foreign Intervention

A stalemate of sorts has developed in Venezuela. The pretender, Juan Guaidó,…

John Lord’s Election Diary No. 5: The masters…

Easter with interruptions for religious observation has certainly dampened the campaigning of…

It's not the economy, stupid, it's climate change…

"In climate change, there will never be enough figures to satisfy the…

Failed States and Militias: General Khalifa Haftar moves…

The richly disastrous mess that is Libya has been moving into another…

Religion and ethics

By RosemaryJ36  I have just read online what I regard as a brilliant…

Climate Change Is A Cost!

Interesting ABC story headline: ”Climate change costings a cause for concern as…

The restoration of malpractice (part 1)

By Dr George Venturini  The restoration of malpracticeFraser, Lord Malcolm of Nareen supplied…

«
»
Facebook

Sleepwalking into catastrophe

“Of all risks, it is in relation to the environment that the world is most clearly sleepwalking into catastrophe.”

These are not the words of bleeding-heart socialist greenies.  They are not even the words of climate scientists looking for funding.

They come from the Global Risks Report 2019 produced by the World Economic Forum.

They warn that the failure to implement climate-change mitigation and adaptation strategies has increased the risk of extreme weather events becoming more frequent and more severe.  Disruptions to the production and delivery of goods and services due to environmental disasters are up by 29% since 2012.

Of particular concern is the accelerating pace of biodiversity loss.  The Living Planet Index, which tracks more than 4,000 species across the globe, reports a 60% decline in average abundance since 1970.  Fragile ecosystems are being damaged putting at risk “ecosystem services”—benefits to humans, such as drinking water, pollination or protection against floods – the value of which has been estimated at US$125 trillion per year, around two-thirds higher than global GDP.

Micronutrient malnutrition affects as many as 2 billion people. It is typically caused by a lack of access to food of sufficient variety and quality. In 2017, climate-related disasters caused acute food insecurity for approximately 39 million people across 23 countries. Increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are affecting the nutritional composition of staples such as rice and wheat. Research suggests that by 2050 this could lead to zinc deficiencies for 175 million people, protein deficiencies for 122 million, and loss of dietary iron for 1 billion.

Despite the lack of action from governments, the business world is beginning to understand the urgent need for action and the opportunities that such action can offer.

In an article titled Plastic is a global problem. It’s also a global opportunity, they speak of “a new plastics opportunity that has emerged for business to both create value and drive more sustainable practice simultaneously.

If regulatory and voluntary measures prioritizing recycling and recovery can also align with sustainable innovation and new technological advancements, the global need for virgin plastic could be dramatically reduced. For example, at present the treatment, recycling and collection of plastic packaging varies depending on the plastic type in question. This makes the appropriate action to take unclear, and disincentivizes correct resource-recovery practices. A global standardization of plastic packaging types may be one solution to this issue. This could be realized through a fusion of public sector collaboration to create effective policies, coupled with self-regulated industry standards – resulting in improved recycling rates and easier resource recovery.

By closing the loop, plastics would no longer be classified as waste. They would instead act as a key source of value, entering and re-entering the value chain as technical and biological inputs. This closed-loop solution has gradually begun to gain momentum as businesses realize the potential size of the prize on the table now that the technology exists to enable the use of plastic as a raw material in future plastic production.”

One of India’s first vertically integrated plastic recycling companies and the Circulars People’s Choice Award Winner for 2018, Banyan Nation has developed a pioneering technology capable of converting collected post-consumer and post-industrial plastic wastes into high-quality recycled granules, known as Better Plastic™. These granules are comparable in quality and performance to virgin plastic. Banyan’s award-winning data intelligence platform integrates thousands of informal recyclers into their supply chain, providing job security and improved livelihoods, in addition to helping cities manage their waste more effectively.

Along with others like Evian & Loop Industries, Bureo and Perpetual Global, they are leading the charge in creating a new, waste-free plastics reality.

It is time to see the value in all plastic, and to begin to view used plastic not as a waste product, but rather as a new raw resource with infinite possibilities.

We can do better, if only our politicians would help.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

 

33 comments

Login here Register here
  1. Jane Boswell

    right on the money again Kaye

  2. Rhonda

    Agreed. FYI My old glasses snapped in two this week, and the stress of managing the replacement cost was really (really) great. Luckily I was clued up on the recent Q opening of the Dresden mob who offer a no frills recycled plastic option of frames + single prescription for 49 bucks. I think they represent a good example of the kind of sustainable prac you’re suggesting. I know this is a shameless business plug – but I just love my new cheap specs

  3. Diannaart

    Rhonda

    This is the kind of business which works for people, with the environment and is truly competitive.

    Hoping I can keep my much beloved frames, but if needs must will next purchase recycled frames.

    Excellent work, everyone.

    Plastic, we can’t get rid of it, so why not use it? Again and again and again…

  4. Kaye Lee

    Businesses who embrace sustainable practice (as well as making things more affordable) should be encouraged. Plug away.

    Perhaps we need some sort of accreditation process so consumers can make the choice to support ethical businesses who fulfill their part of the social contract. Perhaps we could consider tax concessions for those businesses who maintain a high rating.

  5. Rhonda

    nodding still, it really sticks in the craw to reflect on ALL the missed opportunities for advancement down these pathways… since JWH imo 🙁 Although, I do recognise (I must I must) ’tis better, or more practicable and purposeful, to apply a positive future- framed lens to these matters of urgency. Alas, such stagnant past reflections can often be my personal weakness – I can get really stuck, esp when my MH is is dive mode. Onward and upward rx

  6. Diannaart

    We do need positive reinforcement for doing the right thing. Not difficult. Have used positive reinforcement on children and other animals for years, works a treat.

    And regulations which are actually enforced to limit bad behaviour with real consequences, accountability …

  7. Kaye Lee

    We get cheaper drivers licences if we don’t lose any points. A voluntary involvement points system for business could be an idea – the government could charge a fee for the accreditation and then put the business on a government register (ie free advertising) and maybe even consideration for government contracts if applicable.

    They want a published list of pedophiles? How about a published list of companies who have done the wrong thing?

  8. Miriam English

    Plastic is a wonder material. It has always pained me that people have come to look down their noses at it (“Ugh! It’s just cheap plastic”), and it horrifies me that so much ends up in waterways, parks, and landfills.

    I often imagine going back in time to show people a simple clear plastic bag, like those we put our veggies in at a supermarket. In my imagination I release it in the air before them and it floats slowly down, like some ephemeral jellyfish. Then I grab it and twist it into a single strand and hand it to the strongest man in the village, challenging him to break it.

    Plastic is a marvel. It is light and soft, yet strong, durable, and impervious to almost all caustic chemicals. It can be reformed into different shapes at fairly low temperatures, and can be colored or clear. Protected from ultraviolet light, it can potentially last thousands of years — what an amazing building material! Who wouldn’t love to be able to hand down their home or vehicle to their children?

    It is criminal what we have done with it — polluting the oceans, filling dumps, choking animals… We are the most terribly irresponsible guardians of this planet.

  9. Diannaart

    Love the way you think, Miriam.

    Enjoy George Carlin’s take on plastic

    https://youtu.be/NBRquiS1pis

    I don’t fully agree with George, but too funny not to post

  10. Andrew Smith

    Pardon my scepticism, not a criticism of the article nor writer, but I have a keen interest (and some expertise) in linguistics, language, etymology, communication, marketing and PR. Accordingly, I am very wary of these pronouncements by elites regarding pressing environmental issues that have been apparent for generations now, when pronouncements don’t change anything e.g. the nebulous ‘sustainability’ and related concepts or constructs.

    The concepts are so general in meaning that anybody can claim to be environmentally aware while retaining enough wriggle room to cherry pick an individual action, and allowing policy makers and fossil fuel related industries off the hook; maintains the status quo.

    One suspects and is aware that much of this language was developed a long time ago and has been applied to business processes, immigration/population, global warming denial, Nativist Conservative politics etc.

    Coincidental, but even the article heading is familiar from some years ago when used by a writer, seemingly affiliated with Sustainable Population Australia, by Fiona Heinrichs (never heard of since) and published for a wider audience in the fulcrum of the white Nativist movement masquerading as ‘liberal and environmental’, i.e. John Tanton’s Social Contract Press ‘Sleepwalking to Catastrophe ‘Big Australia’, Immigration, Population Expansion, and the Impossibility of Endless Economic Growth in a Finite World’

    https://www.thesocialcontract.com/artman2/publish/tsc_22_1/tsc_22_1_elbel.shtml

    Further, many people can show no real care for the environment whether vehicle use, consumption, frequent travel etc. but signal their environmental credentials by separating their recyclables, installing solar, driving a Subaru, voting Greens, criticising ‘immigration’ and ‘population growth’, or avoiding plastics…..

    Now, how is it that even Central European nations, based upon merging with EU environmental law for accession twenty years ago, were compelled to pay for plastic bags and separate recyclables into glass, metal, paper and organic, without complaint, unlike Australia now?

    Fast forward we have David Attenborough, patron of Population Matters UK (along with a collaborator of John Tanton’s, i.e. Paul ‘Population Bomb’ Ehrlich also a patron), telling us to stop using plastic bags, but not fossil fuels in general (while avoiding the mention of fossil fuels)?

    ‘Population Matters was founded as the Optimum Population Trust (i.e. eugenics…) in 1991 by the late David Willey, its first chairman. Its purpose was to collect, analyse and disseminate information about the sizes of global and national populations, and their relations with the carrying capacities (expression used by PM Morrisson and other Libs and Bob Carr) of different countries and the quality of life of their inhabitants. It was intended that such information should help people to make informed choices about policies affecting their and their descendants’ welfare’

    https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Population_Matters

    Obviously another coincidence is that Population Matters is informed by Tanton’s Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), togther with Paul Ehrlich, was on board of Zero Population Growth in early ’70s, supported by Rockefeller (Exxon Mobil etc.), Ford and Carnegie Foundations? No whiff of fossil fuels there……

    Yet another coincidence is that Population Matters, along with another CIS related group Migration Watch were active in Brexit or Leave EU (regulations) lobbying, directly to MPs and Theresa May; meanwhile Tanton’s CIS, FAIR etc. are embedded in Trump’s White House.

    https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/links

    Of interest and related are the constructed patterns or architecture of language used by Conservatives, Corporatists and Nativists in the Anglo world:

    ‘Our Increasingly Fascist Public Discourse. Though “fascism” generally evokes images of jack-booted thugs and mass rallies, fascist movements first politicize language. And, judging by the arguments and vocabulary now regularly used by mainstream politicians and thinkers in the US and Europe, their strategy is bearing fruit.’

    https://www.project-syndicate.org/onpoint/our-increasingly-fascist-public-discourse-by-jason-stanley-2019-01

  11. Kaye Lee

    Your cynicism is understandable Andrew but we have to do whatever we can, no matter how big or small, to help the effort to reduce consumption and waste as well as limit GHG emissions.

    As I have discussed elsewhere, I am less worried about population growth which is slowing and will continue to do so as we educate and liberate women and lift people out of poverty.

    We cannot reach perfection but we must take every step we can to minimise the damage.

  12. king1394

    I am glad we are beginning to act on wasteful use and discarding of plastics, even though there is a long, long way to go.

    Another waste material that concerns me is cloth, as in clothing. For a long time there has been the neighbourhood clothing bin into which one stuffed a range of cloth items, from almost perfect garments to torn, worn and stained items, in the belief that it was all useful for something and that ‘someone’ would sort it out. Somehow, clothing recycling has become the monopoly of charities which now pronounce that they aren’t interested in managing anything except saleable materials. What happened to sorting stuff for rags, repairing things that just need a stitch, saving buttons and lace for resale, making dolly clothes, patchwork squares for quilting, and unpicking woollen items for balls of wool, etc. which are possibilities. There are many ideas to be found on the internet for repurposing old clothing. Cloth can also be used for paper making. At the moment, with charity shops being both picky and unwilling to put effort into using the clothing for new purposes, an awful lot of good cloth is going to landfill.

  13. Christina Heath

    king1394. You are right about the recycled clothing. It is even more wasteful from my experience. I have worked as a volunteer and clothing almost has to have the original shop label still attached for the item to be retained and sold. Everything else ends up in landfill.

    Kaye Lee. You mentioned you are not so worried about population growth as you have stated it is slowing. However, one of the looming greatest environmental disasters which receives little mainstream coverage, is growth in animal agriculture and the resources required to sustain it. Animals consume more of the planet’s resources than humans The effects of intensive farming practices across the world have, in many cases, resulted in as much environmental pollution as coal production, yet it is largely overlooked. And the animal diets, antibiotics and other requirements to sustain this type of intensive production can have severe detrimental effects on human health (let alone the animals).

    The LNP government, particularly the Nationals, are in denial about any problems associated with animal agriculture and it effects on the environment, but like coal and cotton, its sustainability needs to be addressed urgently.

  14. helvityni

    king1394,

    I learned from my mum not to be wasteful; clothes passed on to the needy, used as rags, woven into colourful mats, rugs..etc….

    When we had our Alpaca farm some years ago the progressive local council had huge collectable bins for any farm waste/ recycling on strategic places on the side of the country roads…

    Fantastic idea, but the practice did not last long; someone put a dead cow in one, anther one was lit up and everything in it burned….

  15. Kaye Lee

    Another thing I am finding hard is somewhere to recycle books. Some of them should just be pulped but I have so many that could be passed on to read. But no-one wants them.

  16. Diannaart

    Following on from King1394 most important point on clothing, Jane Milburn discusses fashion, sustainability and looking at how we can repurpose clothing in this (very short 7mins) TEDx talk given in 2017.

    https://youtu.be/OcAUaCDgGcc

    I guess this is another plug

    We need to ‘be the change’ and know that every little action we take can make a difference. If everyone does something, that adds up to a lot. My own response on this issue is to reuse and upcycle what I have whenever possible. It is not a new thing, it’s actually how people used to live when resources were valued and cared for.

    https://textilebeat.com

  17. helvityni

    Kaye, all major charity shops here accept second hand books, Vinnies, Red Cross and the Salvation Army….

    I also have a box in the garage full of my very favourite classic paperbacks, not in a perfect nick anymore, but you just never know one day I might want to re-visit their much loved pages… I’m not ready to bin them yet.

    I also pass some of the books to friends and to the family…

  18. Miriam English

    king1394, I helped at a nearby charity shop, and an awful lot of the clothing donated was resold in the shop. Stuff that was unusable went to a company that used them for rags. I know some ends up as paper. Whenever there was a disaster in the wider area, the charity shop gave enormous amounts of clothes, blankets, and other things, such as kitchen things, to people who needed them.

    I have very few new clothes… only socks and underwear… and a hat. I know many people who very rarely buy new clothes.

    Kaye, bigger towns and cities have secondhand bookshops which resell books. I think they’re growing increasingly picky though. I have thousands of paper books and am trying to replace them all with ebooks. These days I really don’t like reading paper books anymore… too unwieldy… ebooks are much easier… and I can carry around hundreds of books in my purse.

  19. Miriam English

    Has anybody else stopped getting comment notifications?

  20. Diannaart

    Miriam

    Checked your cookies cache? Or related thingies that clog up? Apologies for such tech-speak … ☺️

    Back to recycling, love Opshopping since my uni days, find terrific clothes, kitchenware, collectables, however I do buy new undies, look for natural fibres, silk is very comfy, but mostly cotton.

    I also have boxes of books just sitting around, ones I don’t wish to keep. Special books, like signed books, or reference books, gifts from friends are for keeping.

    Like Miriam, I prefer ebooks for my recreational reading. So much more practical. No more lugging bags full of books. I also keep my computer hardware for a very long time, years, hopefully this helps to balance environmental impact of the manufacture.

  21. Kaye Lee

    Today I finally parted with the lounge that I was sitting on to watch the start of colour tv. I still remember watching the Aunty Jack show with colour filling up from the bottom of the screen like water rising. It has given good and faithful service but was well past its use by date. I am now sitting on the next hand-me-down lounge from a relative.

  22. Michael Taylor

    That sometimes happens, Miriam. I do all the things from A to Z of what is meant to fix it, but glitches don’t play by the rules. By the time I get WordPress to look into it, it usually rights itself anyway.

    However, if symptoms persist, consult your doctor. Me. 😀

  23. wam

    kaye a beaut informative and encouraging read.
    Makes an understandable change from the usual environmental discussion. Perhaps the rabbottians and clpians will have a chance of comprehension?
    When india and china realise the himalayas are no longer a ‘wall’ the environment will burst or burst into life.

    miriam my mum was thrifty and tiny she always found new clothes on bargain tables that were of her size and only a fraction of cost, the rest of the family had second hand stuff. I got my first pair of long pants in the winter of year 10. The son of a dentist shamed me by saying where did you get those disposal? Everyone in the class laughed and inside I cried and only wore them that once.
    My darlings mum was the opposite as tall as mrs whitlam and made all her families gear except the boys who were fletcher jonesed

  24. Diannaart

    I inherited my mother’s lovely leather & jarrah sofa and arm chairs. Just wonderful. The rest of my furniture is a mixture dating back to my student days in shared households where I found desks, bookcases in second hand stores. The only furniture I bought brand new is my bed and that was 30 years ago! Think I might be due a new mattress? Have made do by adding mattress toppers and for reasons of hygiene those were new, sourced online for best price.

    If something still works I see no need to replace it.

    There are now fix it cafes, where people can learn to repair various electrical goods or have someone do it for them.

    Another plug:

    https://repaircafe.org/en/visit/

  25. corvus boreus

    Sorry Kaye lee, sad reality is that the majority verdict of most environmental scientists seems to be that we simply do not have the planetary wiggle room to stack on another 4 billion people in the next 80 years.

    Unless we drastically reduce not only the amount of wasteful individual consumption but also the number of individual consumers, we are on course for a biospheric implosion that will probably kill most of the next few generations of your descendants.

    Of course, this is only the opinion of a semi-educated environmentalist rather than the authority of a specialist in the linguistics of PR marketing.

  26. Kaye Lee

    I don’t mean to make light of the concern about population growth but there are things making a difference to that now. The slowing down in growth might turn into a decline before we get to 11.5 billion – there are already quite a few countries with declining populations though Africa is still a real worry. If we educate girls and then employ them they breed later – or choose not to. Religion is losing its sway so we might get more sensible about contraception and terminations and euthanasia.

    Regardless, we must reduce our consumption.

    Who’s the specialist in the linguistics of PR marketing?

  27. Miriam English

    I have to disagree Harquebus… er… sorry, I mean, corvus. Nobody knows how things are going to turn out. However based on trends happening at the moment, it is extremely unlikely we’ll get to 12 billion people, and numbers are expected to peak over the next 50 years or less, then decline. Recent research making photosynthesis more efficient and manipulating the genes of food crops to enhance nutritional value (for example rice with vitamin A) will almost certainly let us feed more people using less land. Add to that, the health data showing that eating little or no meat improves health, if your diet is otherwise balanced, means we may be able to eliminate much livestock, perhaps even most of it, removing a lot of the pressure on ecologies.

    Countering that we have obscenely wealthy fossil fuel and meat industries whose short-term interests in money overshadow any thought of surviving in the future. Add to that their eagerness to do anything to get their way and the famously shallow thinking and lack of spine in most politicians, and things could very well go badly wrong.

    So there is no real consensus on what the future holds. There are many indications that humanity will make it sustaining only minor injuries. But there are many unknowns. We can’t really be sure whether the future is gloomy or bright. The only thing we can say for sure is that we have to try.

  28. corvus boreus

    Here is one lot who are trying to do something about improving the rights of females in “developing’ nations as a means to reducing birthrates.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_Council
    Of course, our resident conspiracy theorists will dismiss these efforts as merely a front for a conspiracy of racist eugenics because, you know, Rockefellers.
    I acknowledge that the peak figure I cited of 11.5 billion is at the upper end of population projections, but not unfeasable given recent events like China’s abandonment of their one child policy.
    Meanwhile yearly global co2 emissions continue to climb and methane releases accelerate.

  29. Keith

    Part of, and running parallel to climate change is that biodiversity is disappearing. For example, there are great concerns about bee populations and other insect populations declining.

    Concern has also been expressed in relation to the over use of acquifers. Over reach, generally is an inhibiting factor in population growth; the Murray/Darling system being a prime example. The Russians have already managed to destroy the Aral Sea, and snow slopes and glaciers feeding water resources to communities living below are breaking down.

    These are limiting factors in population increase, and triggers for social unrest, and war. Those who choose to exploit the environment do not appear to understand that we all need clean water, clean air, and non-polluted food.

  30. Andrew Smith

    I avoid the cynical approach, but very sceptical, as one is not proposing that individuals should do no nothing, nor AKA Abbott having ‘direct action’ as central to any environmental policy.

    However, been outside of Oz most of past 30 years, I find social and public narratives incomprehensibly glib and/or infantile sound bites or one-liners, versus (being exposed to) good analysis and government action. Recall high school 1970s in Victoria, had much relevant environmental curriculum content mainstreamed, replacing religious education, but was ‘disappeared’ in the 1980s (probably to be replaced by Christian religious education)?

    Most importantly, global warming and environmental solutions require education, grounded and researched policy solutions, good and stable governance supported by a fully resourced public service.

    Australia has had shambolic unstable government for 10+ years, no serious policy development (vs. opinion or push polls of sentiment), too much input from fossil etc. industry lobbyists (includes former Labor MPs) and/or IPA while the public services and related quangos have been hollowed out; back grounded by communications oligopoly of NewsCorp and commercial media agitprop encouraging inertia and much cognitive dissonance.

    Echoes of Edward Bernays’ PR propaganda techniques, plus Naom Chaomsky and Martin Curtis work on ‘manufacturing’ or ‘engineering’ consent, or inactivity, on any serious policy issues.

    Regarding the ‘population’ obsessions related to environment, the roots were quite mainstream pre-WWII i.e. ‘science of eugenics and racial hygiene’ (itself founded by Darwin’s cousin Galton at UCL in UK) e.g. Planned Parenthood did and still do support women’s choice, but in the background the founders, Margaret Sanger and the Rockefeller Foundation were about ‘who gets to choose?’ and recommended in involuntary sterilisation of the ‘feeble minded’ etc..

    https://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/biography/item/21409-margaret-sanger-pioneering-advocate-for-eugenics

    Related, the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Eugenics in pre-WWII Germany:

    ‘However, many experiments also transgressed over human ethics, and the Institute is also remembered for its association with Nazi War Crimes. Funding was received mostly from the government, however, the American Rockefeller Foundation also offered support in the early 1930s in regards to research of twins. In 1945, the Institute was dissolved entirely.’

    http://eugenicsarchive.ca/discover/tree/5233cdc25c2ec500000000a8

    Further, the UN Population Council, founded by JD Rockefeller III in 1952, also had co-opted the AES American Eugenics Society post WWII, whose illustrious membership included Otmar van Freiherr Verschuer, boss of ‘twins researcher’ Mengele…. The same UN Population Council is also responsible for the net overseas migration NOM definition used by Australia, UK and NZ, i.e. inflated headline rates in 2006 by conflating temporary visitors with permanents and citizens, which was not noticed by any journalist etc. in Australia (not unlike the frothy ‘limits to growth’ formula)….

    Insights from the 1972 Rockefeller (Population) Report, in John Tanton’s Social Contract Press to whom Australia’s ‘best demographer’ (according to Sustainable Australia patron Bob Carr) Dr. Bob Birrell, has contributed.

    https://www.thesocialcontract.com/artman2/publish/tsc0204/article_172.shtml

    According to SPLC: ‘The Social Contract Press (TSCP) routinely publishes race-baiting articles penned by white nationalists. The press is a program of U.S. Inc, the foundation created by John Tanton, the racist founder and principal ideologue of the modern nativist movement. TSCP puts an academic veneer of legitimacy over what are essentially racist arguments about the inferiority of today’s immigrants.’

    https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/social-contract-press

    Population data has been broadly, or worse egregiously, misrepresented and misunderstood in the mainstream, but science journalist Fred Pearce, late Prof. Hans Rosling et al. analyse and present in more grounded and less alarmist ways reflecting the actual dynamics i.e. cumulative statistical effect, post fertility peaks, better health/education, increased longevity, ageing and the coming ‘population crash’

    Good read on data, in addition to Rosling, is Pearce’s ‘The Coming Population Crash and and Our Planet’s Surprising Future’:

    ‘Even today, baby booms are blamed for genocide and terrorism, and overpopulation is regularly cited as the primary factor driving global warming and other environmental issues. Yet, surprisingly, it appears that the explosion is past its peak. Around the world, in developing countries as well as in rich ones, today’s women are having on average 2.6 children, half the number their mothers had. Within a generation, world fertility will likely follow Europe’s to below replacement levels and by 2040, the world’s population will be declining for the first time since the Black Death, almost seven hundred years ago.’

    http://www.beacon.org/The-Coming-Population-Crash-P739.aspx

    Finally, environmental writers of the left (Climate & Capitalism) Angus, Butler and Hartmann in Too Many People?: Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis:

    ‘Too Many People? provides a clear, well-documented, and popularly written refutation of the idea that “overpopulation” is a major cause of environmental destruction, arguing that a focus on human numbers not only misunderstands the causes of the crisis, it dangerously weakens the movement for real solutions.’

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11293041-too-many-people

    The latter is where one is coming from, and there is a fascinating history to many related phenomena if one bothers to research and understand them, then see the surprising patterns and relationships between people, organisations and politics over time.

  31. John Hermann

    The fundamental problem, militating against all of the changes that are needed for turning the global situation around, is the currently accepted model of capitalism. Unfortunately it has no mechanism for slowing down the rate of GDP growth for any reason whatsoever (in this respect it is like an aircraft which requires a minimum speed for stability, unlike a helicopter), and it cannot afford to stall because to do so would send the economy into a tailspin and crash.

  32. Miriam English

    John Hermann, there is a snowflake’s chance in hell of getting politicians, economists, and big money to abandon the idea of continuous growth. Lucky then, that there is a way to have our cake and eat it too. We can have continuous growth without trashing the planet.

    We are supposed to be in the midst of the information revolution, though you’d never guess it, considering the way the idiots in power act. The thing about knowledge, culture, information, data, and so on, is that it has no real physical substance. My tablet computer weighs no more and consumes no more power whether it contains one ebook or a thousand, one song or a thousand… The same is true of maps, artworks, videos, 3D virtual worlds, talks, lectures, and audiobooks, computer programs, cooking recipes, comicbooks, accounting spreadsheets, and so on. Information can grow without limit while hardly impacting on the world’s resources.

    If we limit heavy industry and physical resources through taxes, but incentivise information technology, we could have a rapidly growing economy (just like capitalists love) without damaging our planet. Even better, as we gain more information, so we learn better ways to shrink electronics, how to repair the damage done to Earth’s ecosystems, how to use minimal physical resources more efficiently, and ways to avoid using resources at all — recycling, avoiding travel by using telecommunications instead, better ways to store energy without toxic, wasteful batteries, and much more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Return to home page
Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: