Nature Marks the End of the Road

October 16, 2010

Global warming (oops, sorry, “global climate disruption”) is indeed cancer, an illness as hypothesized by a recent report most-likely a man-made disease and like the earth’s hurting environment, a product of the industrial age.

A new Yale University survey shows only 10 percent of US peoples polled say they are “very well informed” on the issue.
Which means in the neighborhood of 90 percent don’t know jack shit about the biggest obstacle facing humanity in the next few months — yes, the word was months, not years — and how mankind is allowing that horrible climate can to be continually kicked down an ugly road.

(Illustration found here).

In advance of the UN meeting in Cancun, Mexico, where peoples from all over the globe will try again to tackle the knotty problem of climate change, I’ve found a real-good summary on what exactly is happening and what tempestuous times lie ahead.
Written by critic of technology and globalization, Jerry Mander, and re-produced by the UK’s the Guardian on Friday, the post examines a most-vital piece of climate change that’s in reality the most obvious.
A few snips (once again, h/t TheOilDrum):

But there’s a missing link in the discussion, ignored by nearly everyone in the mainstream debate: nature. They speak about our economy as if it were a separate entity, its own ever-expanding universe, unconnected to any realities outside itself, not embodied within a larger system from which, actually, it emerged and can’t escape.
Nature cannot be left out of the discussion.
It may be the most important detail of the entire conversation. Leaving it out of consideration is, well, suicidal.
Here’s the point: never-ending growth on a small planet with finite resources is a profound impossibility. It’s an absurdity.
A fantasy. It’s time to wake up.
Look around you.
The clothes you are wearing, the chair you are sitting in, the implements on the stove, the stove, the floor and walls of your room, its carpet, the lights and the switches, the electrical lines in the walls, your mobile phone, the road outside, the car you drive and all its tyres, wires, metals, glass, fabrics, batteries; airplanes, skyscrapers, tanks, missiles, computers … were all once minerals and metals dug up from the earth, then shipped around the world, transformed, assembled, shipped again to a store near you, and sold.
Or else they were living beings: trees, plants, animals, fibres, corals that had their own independent existence.
Even “synthetics” began as natural elements.
Is your shirt made of polyester? Polyester is plastic. Plastic is oil. Oil used to be dinosaurs, trees, plants.
All of it is nature.
The entire material economy began as part of the earth, buried in the ground, or it grew from it, or it was alive before we transformed it.
But it’s disappearing fast.

And within a part of nature is something mankind is required to have in all circumstances.

Perhaps ultimately even more important is the global scarcity of fresh water.
The World Bank already predicts the next world war will be over water.
Healthy topsoils are also seriously diminished, as are agricultural lands, converted to other uses, and global food supplies, which are ever more expensive.
So are forests and their hundreds of crucial byproducts, as well as biodiversity of every kind, life in the oceans, coral reefs, and key minerals, including coltan (for your mobile phone), lithium, phosphorous, lead, zinc, tin, copper, gold, and hundreds of others.
Following two centuries of voracious exploitation of every mineral, metal and biological resource, we will soon be facing what Daly calls an “empty world.”

Read the entire piece, it’s lengthy, but easily lays-out the entire global-human paradox of our age.

And crazy as it reads, the problem is we’ve only got just one globe.
According to the World Wildlife Fund‘s 2010 Living Planet Report, the earth’s indigenous population has been so-living way, way beyond their means.

Natural resources are being consumed faster than the Earth is replenishing them.
We are currently consuming the equivalent of 1.5 planets to support human activities.
If current trends continue, by 2030 we will need the capacity of two planets to meet natural resource consumption needs and absorb CO2 waste.

And like Sheriff Taggart in Blazing Saddles: Somebody’s gotta go back and get a shitload of dimes!

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