Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Sustainability Conundrum

Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig via Flickr | hikingartist.com | CC BY-ND 2.0

Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig via Flickr | hikingartist.com | CC BY-ND 2.0

Richard Hampton

Science is telling us that our world is in trouble. We have too many people consuming too much stuff. There is hope however, as humanity is slowly demonstrating a spontaneous propensity towards developing the behavioral adaptations necessary to reach a sustainable population and a respect for nature that could enable human civilization to persist.

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This is My Earth: Crowdsourcing Biodiversity Conservation

123Alon Tal

On June 12th, the International Union for Conservation of Nature released its most recent inventory about mammal populations. The news was mixed:  it is encouraging that a few predator species appear to be rebounding in the U.S. and Europe. But the numbers in Africa remain profoundly discouraging.   There are now “77,340 assessed species” on the IUCN Red List; 22,784 are “threatened with extinction”.  In 85% of the cases, habitat loss remains the driver behind this astonishing obliteration.   Read the rest of this entry

Inoculating against science denial

Photo from NIAID via Flickr | CC BY

Photo from NIAID via Flickr | CC BY

John Cook

Science denial has real, societal consequences. Denial of the link between HIV and AIDS led to more than 330,000 premature deaths in South Africa. Denial of the link between smoking and cancer has caused millions of premature deaths. Thanks to vaccination denial, preventable diseases are making a comeback. Read the rest of this entry

Dancing Star Foundation President Michael Charles Tobias, in a Discussion About the Fate of the Earth

1Geoffrey Holland and Michael Charles Tobias

This is a personal dialogue between Emmy Award writer/producer and author of The Hydrogen Age, Geoffrey Holland, and Michael Charles Tobias, PhD, one of the world’s most influential ecologists. He is a prolific author, filmmaker, and lecturer. In a career to date spanning 45 years, and as President of Dancing Star Foundation for 16 of those years, Tobias’ work has taken him to nearly 100 countries, where his field research has resulted in some 50 books and 150 films that have been read or viewed throughout the world. He was the 62nd recipient of the Courage of Conscience Award, and is an honorary Member of the Club of Budapest. Tobias is best known for such works as his massive tome, World War III: Population and the Biosphere at the End of the Millennium, and with his partner Jane Gray Morrison, the ten hour dramatic mini-series, Voice of the Planet. Read the rest of this entry

The Squirrel Factor

Squirrel in Toronto, Ontario by Ilan Kelman

Squirrel in Toronto, Ontario by Ilan Kelman

Ilan Kelman

On 21 October 2014, parts of Providence, Rhode Island experienced a blackout for two hours. Local media reported that a squirrel entered a power station and became a conductor, knocking out electricity. Read the rest of this entry

Economic Growth is a meme – a learned idea that we can change and mature

Image by Lending Memo

Image by Lending Memo

Terri Martin

Recently I came across a half page ad in a major newspaper on my morning ferry commute: “Rubber Bands Have Feelings Tooa screenplay by Helina Clarke.” From Advertising Standards Canada, the byline read “creativity is subjective, the truth isn’t.” I laughed out loud. Brilliant! Truth in advertising is a key challenge in the sustainability movement as the pressures for creative greenwashing are everywhere. If only it were as easy as the ad proclaimed. The struggle to represent sustainability honestly is one reason that I joined the Qualicum Institute (QI), which recently became a node of the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere (MAHB). These organizations, along with others, are working to demonstrate the clash between economic growth and ecological overshoot in order to prevent societal collapse.

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A Degrowth Response to an Ecomodernist Manifesto

Image by Mac42 via Flickr | CC BY-NC 2.0

Image by Mac42 via Flickr | CC BY-NC 2.0

Jeremy Caradonna et al.

A group known as the “ecomodernists,” which includes prominent environmental thinkers and development specialists such as Ted Nordhaus, Michael Shellenberger, Stewart Brand, David Keith, and Joyashree Roy has recently published a statement of principles called An Ecomodernist Manifesto (2015). Many of the authors of the Manifesto are connected to an influential think tank called The Breakthrough Institute.   Read the rest of this entry

Confronting the Elephant in the Living Room

1234Michael Mielke

As most aware environmental activists know, the great unacknowledged elephant today is our collective inability to respond effectively to the life diminishing and civilization threatening crisis well underway. Read the rest of this entry

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