Toward a Finite-Planet Journalism

February 11, 2014 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Protection of Species, United States, Daily Email Recap

Toward a Finite-Planet Journalism

What happens when an infinite-growth society smacks into environmental limits? For one thing,it loses the very possibility of democratic decision making, as the effort to fit an increasingly problematic ecological footprint onto a finite planet means that more and more policy decisions have to be made by technocrats.

On a finite planet, only an ecologically knowledgeable electorate can reconcile democracy with non-negotiable ecological limits. If the majority of voters remain ecologically illiterate, they must give up either civilization or democracy. It’s impossible to retain both.

That sad truth emerges from a careful look at a political protest in Missouri over the future of the Ozark National Scenic Riverway. Locals are worried about park plans to limit access and exercise greater regulatory control; the science says that park ecosystems are in danger of being irreparably damaged by overuse.

And another truth emerges from a careful look at the story: the media have a role and responsibility in educating the American populace about ecological limits. At the very least, they need to give up their infinite-planet bias.


Current World Population


Net Growth During Your Visit