How Our Economy Is Killing the Earth (and Us)

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TollandRCR
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How Our Economy Is Killing the Earth (and Us)

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Reed Business Information Systems, reprinted in New Scientist October 16, 2008, [link]How Our Economy Is Killing the Earth,http://www.blcu.edu.cn/ielts/reading/Sp ... entist.htm[/link].





H/T Copyright page in Dan Brown's Inferno. (Yes, I read copyright pages.)
“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” Kurt Vonnegut

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TollandRCR
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How Our Economy Is Killing the Earth (and Us)

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Post by TollandRCR »

That graph from New Scientist looked familiar. It is, in fact, a composite of a series of graphs that the Australian Will Steffen started working on in the 1990's if not earlier. Steffen is head of Australian National University's Climate Change Institute and was Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme in Stockholm from 1998 to 2004. He has been working on the "Anthropocene" for most of his professional life.





Resilience Science December 4, 2008 [link]Visualizing the great acceleration – part ii,http://rs.resalliance.org/2008/12/04/vi ... n-part-ii/[/link]





[link]part i,http://rs.resalliance.org/2008/12/03/vi ... eleration/[/link]





This graph is from an article by Robert Constanza et al, [link]Evolution of the human-environment relationship,http://www.eoearth.org/article/Evolutio ... lationship[/link] in The Encyclopedia of Earth. Time is on the vertical scale; anomalies and other indicators are on the horizontal scale.





The thing to note in both this graph and Steffen's graphs is how much is changing quickly at the same time. Note when this set of changes began: between the Black Death and the advent of the Industrial Revolution, then quickening in the 1960's.











Our work is guided by the sense that we may be the last generation in the experiment with living. But we are a minority -- the vast majority of our people regard the temporary equilibriums of our society and world as eternally-functional parts. In this is perhaps the outstanding paradox: we ourselves are imbued with urgency, yet the message of our society is that there is no viable alternative to the present. Beneath the reassuring tones of the politicians, beneath the common opinion that America will "muddle through", beneath the stagnation of those who have closed their minds to the future, is the pervading feeling that there simply are no alternatives, that our times have witnessed the exhaustion not only of Utopias, but of any new departures as well. Feeling the press of complexity upon the emptiness of life, people are fearful of the thought that at any moment things might thrust out of control. They fear change itself, since change might smash whatever invisible framework seems to hold back chaos for them now. For most Americans, all crusades are suspect, threatening. The fact that each individual sees apathy in his fellows perpetuates the common reluctance to organize for change. The dominant institutions are complex enough to blunt the minds of their potential critics, and entrenched enough to swiftly dissipate or entirely repel the energies of protest and reform, thus limiting human expectancies. Then, too, we are a materially improved society, and by our own improvements we seem to have weakened the case for further change.
“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” Kurt Vonnegut

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esseff44
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How Our Economy Is Killing the Earth (and Us)

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Yes, and we have known this for some time. Yet, we have a Congress that is in denial and a good part of the country as well.[/break1]youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=BLfE7p75g2g&feature=endscreen] ... =endscreen {SMILIES_PATH}/pray.gif

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