Much of what will be written about and discussed in this blog will be variations on a handful of core truths. These include:
Nothing unsustainable can be sustained. Human civilization as it currently exists is unsustainable, therefore it cannot be sustained and its ultimate collapse is inevitable. There is no balance, no sustainable synergy between ecology and economy. Our economy of consumption and pollution is actively destroying the environment and we are doomed to perish along with it unless sustainable alternatives are implemented.
Infinite growth is not possible within a finite space. Though obviously true, the assumption that it is not lies at the heart of human economics. There it seems to be a devoutly held belief that growth and market shares can expand quarter after quarter, fiscal year after fiscal year, forever. This is not possible. It is not true for any living thing or ecosystem. At some point the demand exceeds resources and ecologies collapse. It is true for economies as well.
Systemic problems require systemic solutions. Our problems are interconnected like never before in human history. Therefore we can no longer simply address individual issues as they arise. Pulling on a single thread unravels the entire tapestry. We must create solutions that are systemic in nature and able to address all issues simultaneously. Such solutions must be sustainable over the long term because unsustainable, short-term thinking is the root cause of most of the world’s problems.
Sustainability depends on properly maintaining the synergy and balance between economy and ecology. Human civilization has always been dependent on and interconnected with the environment in which we live. In today’s modern global economy, our environment is the entire planet. We cannot have an economy without a healthy environment to provide resources and raw materials. Likewise, we cannot have an environment if it is being destroyed in the pursuit of commerce. Each depends on the other. Each can destroy the other.
More to come. Stay tuned.
Tim Wardell is a deep thinker, gardener, husband, father, would-be science fiction sex comedy novelist, and margarita aficionado. When not doing any of those things, he reads, studies, practices, and blogs about sustainability.