Big Issues We Ignore at Our Peril

scream edward munch

Environment, Overpopulation, Fantasy Economics, a Resource Crisis

Our leaders display little or no strategic vision in a world dominated by corporate power, ignorance, denial, faith and greed. At this crucial time in human history, politics could not be in worse hands. The sheer ignorance and innumeracy of so many powerful people who should know better is astounding.    (Abridged, Dr J Coulter)

The global economy treats natural resources as if the Earth were a business in a liquidation sale, undermining the life-support systems of our planet. There is little long-range thinking in a world where propaganda and big money have undermined governance and the media.”(Brent Blackwelder, ex-president Friends of the Earth USA

We are eradicating all other species. We are destroying climate balance, we are endangering ourselves.  We have 10,000 more people on the Planet EVERY hour. If governments won’t talk population, then they are not serious about cutting emissions, managing food supplies and a secure quality of life for people.      (Brian McGavin, writer/ environmentalist)

Many commentators who worship at the altar of perpetual growth and whose incredible skills of issue avoidance are given the credibility of regular space in mainstream media,fail to see the big picture.They ignore warnings, blind to the long-term consequences, not because there is no evidence, but because they do not fit with their long-held convictions.    (Jeremy Grantham, global investor)

At the heart of green politics is the simple premise that our prosperity depends completely on a healthy, functioning planet. Go on abusing the planet, go on ignoring climate change, go on ignoring population growth, and all else fails – including our deepest yearning for social justice and human rights.(Jonathon Porritt, environmentalist)

The UN projects that if we continue at our current birth rate there will be over 26 billion people on the planet by 2100, not the 11 billion in its ‘medium variant’ assumption. Yet this is barely mentioned!                                 (Brian McGavin)

A Sustainable World is one with a stable population living within planetary limits. Those who talk up a country’s economic dividend facing a population explosion are fantasy optimists.  In Africa, many countries already have massive unemployment and not enough food. How will they provide all the schools, jobs and food to sustain populations set to more than double in size in 30 years?  Governments will be struggling with millions of unemployed and hungry people attracted to violence and extremism.           (Brian McGavin)

   The Ageing Population Scare – a transition not a crisis

Population ageing in advanced economies is the manageable consequence of positive developments. By contrast, rapid population growth in many poorer countries poses a severe threat to human welfare. The pressure of conservative religious authorities and politicians under the delusion that rapid population growth will drive national economic success is by far the most important demographic challenge facing the world today. Worrying about population decline in advanced countries is a meaningless diversion.  (Adair (Lord) Turner, economist, 2015)

Our food reserves are at a 50-year low, but by 2030 we need to be producing 50% more food, we will need 50% more energy, and 30% more fresh water. They are dramatic problems, all intimately connected.”

(Professor JohnBeddington, UK govt. Chief Scientist, 2009).

Sustainability Fantasies

The Netherlands is a prosperous country of 17 million people. The problem is our footprint. The Netherlands imports worldwide resources. Its environmental footprint is eight times the actual area of the country.       (Abridged, Mathis Wackernagel, Global Footprint Network)

(And Global Footprint data takes no account of the decline in non-renewable resources)

Climate discussionconferenceshave taken place in a conceptual fantasy world in which climate change is the only global crisis that matters much; in which rapid economic growth is still an option; in which fossil fuels are practically limitless; and in which the subject of human over-population can barely be mentioned.”                                                                   (Abridged, Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute)

A Food Crisis

Ninety five percent of our food comes from the soil. If current rates of degradation continue, all of the world’s topsoil could be gone within 60 years. (UNFAO, Dec, 2014)

Media and political blindness

Many people are left in fact-based ignorance. A combination of political blindness and political correctness, religious dogmatists and an economic mind-set of ‘out with limits’, has undermined common sense.                     (Brian McGavin)

The entire political and economic system is inherently unstable, built on debt, fuelled by speculation; robbing the future to fuel the present; demanding perpetual growth on a finite planet.  A system destined to destroy everything.                                                                                                      (Abridged, George Monbiot)

“Do we want to be remembered as the generation that saved the banks and let the biosphere collapse?” (George Monbiot, columnist, The Guardian)

Compiled by Brian McGavin, writer, environmentalist. 2018


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