NEW PODCAST: The Dilemma of Sustainability
The Dilemma of Sustainability
To satisfy the needs and desires of 8 billion people, we currently need 1.8 planet Earths. But because there is just one planet, we are overshooting its capacity by using more resources than Earth can regenerate and dumping more waste than it can assimilate. And because this has been going on for quite a few decades now, we also have to deal with the consequences – climate change, resource depletion, soil degradation, pollution, the sixth mass extinction, and ocean acidification. Even though the economists and politicians try to convince us that things are going to be fine, that we can grow forever and technology will overcome any barriers in a place with finite resources, this is a lie. And if we want to make living on Earth sustainable not just for our generation but for the posterity, we must talk about real solutions.
In this revealing interview, we talk to two veteran environmentalists, William Rees and Richard Heinberg about:
- What is Earth Overshoot and why we need to address overconsumption and population growth
- Why turning a blind eye on Earth Overshoot will make things worse
- How we’re currently living through the most abnormal era in human history
- Why perpetual economic growth is a myth and why we need to get rid of it
- Why we need a smaller economy and a massive shift in lifestyles
- Why renewable energy is not as sustainable as we think and why it is not a solution to our current ecological crisis
- How we can transform society by reorienting its values from economic growth to human well-being
- Why we need a voluntary humane global population program
- Why changing the global mindset about Earth Overshoot and getting involved politically is essential
Dr. William Rees is an ecologist, ecological economist, former Director and Professor Emeritus of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning in Vancouver. He has authored hundreds of academic papers and popular articles on humanity’s (un)sustainability crisis. Bill is best known for originating and co-developing ecological footprint analysis (EFA) with Mathis Wackernagel and other graduate students. EFA is now widely used by scientists, businesses, governments, and institutions to monitor human demands on ecosystems and document population overshoot.
Richard Heinberg is Senior Fellow of Post Carbon Institute, and is regarded as one of the world’s foremost advocates for a shift away from our current reliance on fossil fuels. He is the author of fourteen books and hundreds of articles on society’s current energy and environmental sustainability crisis. His latest book is Power: Limits and Prospects for Human Survival. He has also delivered hundreds of lectures on energy and climate issues on six continents.