The Earth Is Full

June 30, 2011 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Daily Email Recap

But you already knew that!  Thanks to Fred Stanback and several others for this OpEd by Thomas Friedman, which you can find at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/08/opinion/08friedman.html?_r=1

Op-Ed Columnist

The Earth Is Full

By Thomas Friedman

Published June 7th, 2011

You really do have to wonder whether a few years from now we’ll look back at the first decade of the 21st century – when food prices spiked, energy prices soared, world population surged, tornados plowed through cities, floods and droughts set records, populations were displaced and governments were threatened by the confluence of it all – and ask ourselves: What were we thinking? How did we not panic when the evidence was so obvious that we’d crossed some growth/climate/natural resource/population redlines all at once?

“The only answer can be denial,” argues Paul Gilding, the veteran Australian environmentalist-entrepreneur, who described this moment in a new book called “The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World.” “When you are surrounded by something so big that requires you to change everything about the way you think and see the world, then denial is the natural response. But the longer we wait, the bigger the response required.”

Gilding cites the work of the Global Footprint Network, an alliance of scientists, which calculates how many “planet Earths” we need to sustain our current growth rates. G.F.N. measures how much land and water area we need to produce the resources we consume and absorb our waste, using prevailing technology. On the whole, says G.F.N., we are currently growing at a rate that is using up the Earth’s resources far faster than they can be sustainably replenished, so we are eating into the future. Right now, global growth is using about 1.5 Earths. “Having only one planet makes this a rather significant problem,” says Gilding.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/08/opinion/08friedman.html?_r=2


Current World Population

7,740,290,136

Net Growth During Your Visit

0

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