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Fw: EARTH MEANDERS: On an Environmentally Collapsing, Poverty Racked P lanet, the Disease that is Economic Growth

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  • npat1
    ... On an Environmentally Collapsing, Poverty Racked Planet, the Disease that is Economic Growth Earth Meanders, http://earthmeanders.blogspot.com/ By Dr. Glen
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 8, 2007
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      ---------- Forwarded Message ----------
      On an Environmentally Collapsing, Poverty Racked Planet, the
      Disease that is Economic Growth

      Earth Meanders, http://earthmeanders.blogspot.com/
      By Dr. Glen Barry
      February 8, 2007

      Environmental sustainability and abject poverty are the issues
      of our and all time, the resolution of which will either save
      the Earth and relatively civilized society, or continued neglect
      lead to global ecological and social collapse. The big lies
      underlying ecological crises and wealth inequities are that
      economic growth will solve these problems, is endless, and is
      always desirable. Corporation's and government's emphasis upon
      exponential economic growth in a finite biosphere is the disease
      destroying the Earth.

      In a growth driven capitalist market economy, there can never be
      such a thing as "Sustainable Growth". It is time to dust off the
      Club of Rome's findings in the 1970s, and acknowledge that
      limits to growth have been put off by technology, not
      eliminated. How can we speak of sustainable growth when the
      economic system is not even sustaining large portions of the
      world's population that now lives in utterly miserable poverty?

      We are well into the disintegration of the biosphere and human
      habitat as a result of policies promoting unfettered economic
      growth at the exclusion of virtually all other values.

      How grotesque that some shall live the life of opulent splendor
      gluttonously consuming while most wither in abject hunger and
      despair. I am stunned at humanity's - and particularly the rich,
      powerful and celebrity types' - inability to see the big
      picture. Nearly half of the world is living in grinding poverty
      polluting little while about 20% consume exorbitantly destroying
      the Planet's biosphere. It is like a disturbing Alice in
      wonderland world - Africa starves, suffers wars, murder and
      rape; while we in the North overfeed and entertain ourselves
      while shitting our pollution on the poor.

      Global inequities are obscene. How much longer will the have-
      nots sit passively by watching the good life of democratic
      consumption from which they are excluded? Why can't anyone tell
      the Americans and Europeans they must have less? The greatest
      threat to the American way of life is that it is not able to be
      universalized. Rich North and poor South conflict is inevitable.

      Have you ever spent time with a family living on $1 a day? About
      a billion people find themselves in this situation. Where
      subsistence is still possible people are fed and housed, but
      there is no room for error. Finding potable water and firewood
      are a constant struggle. No fancy health care, leisure, travel
      or electronic toys. Just a grinding struggle to survive as the
      population grows and the environment continues to deteriorate.
      Soon this will be the human norm.

      The global food supply is near the breaking point. The world is
      now eating more food than farmers grow, pushing global grain
      stocks to their lowest level in 30 years. Oceans are overfished.
      Hunger is already a stark and painful reality for more than 850
      million people, including 300 million children. In a world of
      starvation, the rich are starting to drive themselves around
      powered by food (biofuels) that could have gone to the poor.

      Capitalism will evolve to emphasize a steady state economy and
      protection and renewal of natural capital - limiting production
      and consumption to natural systems' constraints - or it will
      continue ecocidal eating of life giving ecological systems to
      power a growing wasteful throw away society. The cycle of ever
      more energy needed to support growing populations all aspiring
      to consume like a fat ass America must be broken.

      Market fundamentalism must be challenged. The failure of markets
      to place a price upon carbon causes climate change. Widening
      gaps in income threaten social harmony. The inequalities are
      grotesque, and the degree of blame for climate change,
      deforestation and other environmental crises skewed towards the
      rich. I am stunned. Sickened. We gotta rise up, rise up.

      Stabilization of climate change and global ecological
      sustainability will never be achieved without sharp reductions
      in economic disparities between the Earth's peoples. Strictly
      speaking it is too late to achieve global ecological
      sustainability - where natural ecosystems operate as they have.

      Yet we must work to bring human populations and aspirations back
      into a reasonable balance with ecological systems in order that
      humanity and the Earth have any future at all. In order that all
      have enough to meet basic needs, and a biosphere to house
      themselves and others, there needs to be less of us and less
      disparity. This will require massively reducing carbon emissions
      now, cutting population by three quarters, and by necessity
      bringing the Earthly garden into our care with massive protected
      areas and widespread regional scale ecological restoration.

      There are different ways of showing love, and love is more than
      between two people or a family. Do you love your Earthly home
      habitat and the human and other species' families with which we
      share it? I suggest more love of being and less of you. I am
      opinionated as hell, but even I do not fully know how we are
      going to feed, house and clothe the world while shrinking its
      population, repairing planetary ecosystems and learning to live
      sustainably. But I do know that we must try.

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