Tag Archives: Human Ecology of Overshoot

The Quadra Project: Overshoot – Part 2

The essence of the proposition that Professor William Rees presents in The Human Ecology of Overshoot: Why a Major ‘Population Correction’ Is Inevitable, is that human population, consumption and pollution have combined to exceed the ability of our planet’s limited ecological systems to sustain it. This situation is not unusual. It has commonly happened in the past with other civilizations, and is a frequent and natural occurrence in all biological systems. Overshoot, then, is just the inability of species to be supported by their environment if they exceed its carrying capacity. This, Professor Rees suggests, is now the condition in which humanity finds itself. Earth is not big enough, rich enough, or regenerative enough to deal with the impact of more than 8 billion people who are hungry, materialistic, wasteful and unrestrained. The result, he suggests, will be a major “population correction” by the end of this century.

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The Quadra Project: Overshoot

A fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada is an honour that is not bestowed lightly, so readers can assume that Dr. William Rees, a 79 year-old retired professor from the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning has credibility. Age, experience and scholarship have given authority to his opinions. So his peer-reviewed publication in the August 2023 edition of the academic journal, MDPI, deserves attention.

The Human Ecology of Overshoot: Why a Major Population Correction Is Inevitable is a sobering analysis of the trajectory of human civilization as it continues to expand, as more and more people consume increasing amounts of the world’s finite resources, and as the resulting waste overwhelms the disposal capabilities of the ecosphere.

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