Oh exponential growth, how you blow our minds...
This is the first (and most likely last) time I reference Glenn Beck on this blog, since the guy drives me nuts most of the time, but he's right to be very alarmed and ensure that as many people hear what he's saying as possible.
If charts like this one and the one produced by Al Gore for the increase of CO2 levels in the atmosphere don't scare the bejesus out of you, then maybe the fact that there are many other exponential growth 'hockey sticks' all occurring at the same time (that would be right now) will?
We're in uncharted territory, folks. Big time.
Quoted from Universal Jellyfish:
In the 1970s, World Bank economist Herman Daly wrote Steady-State Economics to outline the future of ecological economics. Daly makes a distinction between 'sustainable growth', which is 'impossible', and 'sustainable development', which is natural. "The larger system is the biosphere and the subsystem is the human economy," says Daly. "We can develop qualitatively, but we cannot grow beyond the biosphere's limits."...
"We are dying of consumption," says Peter Dauvergne, sustainability advisor at UBC and author of The Shadows of Consumption. "The unequal globalisation of the costs of consumption is putting ecosystems and billions of people at risk."
To honestly achieve a "sustainable" economy, humanity must step through a paradigm shift, as profound as the transition in the sixteenth century when Copernicus showed that the Earth is not the centre of the universe. Likewise, ecology teaches us that humanity is not the centre of life on the planet. Just as the Pope's henchmen refused to look through Galileo's telescope, some economists avoid looking out the window to see what keeps humanity alive: photosynthesis, precious materials, and concentrated energy.
"Sooner or later," as ecologist David Abram puts it, "technological civilisation must accept the invitation of gravity and settle back … into the rhythms of a more-than-human Earth."
My new favorite quote:
“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is the inability to understand the exponential function.” - Dr. Albert Bartlett