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.
Continue reading The Quadra Project: Overshoot
This year, 2022, marks the 50th anniversary of The Club of Rome’s 1972 publication of The Limits of Growth, a book that attempted to warn humanity about the consequences of excessive use of the world’s resources. The genesis of the idea came two years earlier from an Italian industrialist, Aurelio Peccei, who invited to Rome a group of scientists, businessmen, academics and diplomats to explore how they might address his concerns.
Continue reading The Quadra Project: The Club of Rome
Originally published in Greenpeace International
I saw the danger / yet I walked / along the enchanted way. —Patrick Kavanagh, Raglan Road, 1946
Over the past few decades a recurring question arises in public ecological discourse: In the face of overwhelming evidence, scientific warnings, existential urgency, and countless examples of ecological disintegration, why are societies worldwide so slow to respond appropriately?
Continue reading Why is change so hard? – Social Inertia
This year has seen a couple of fairly major shocks to the global industrial economic system that so many of us rely upon. One could say that we had a near-collapse experience.
I thought it might be wise to take a moment, step back, and have a look at the bigger picture. To see where western civilization is at, what’s driving us and what kinds of a future we might want to plan for. How does the pandemic fit with other threats to stability.
To help me with this, I sought out the ideas of a Cortes Island thinker and researcher who deals with a lot of the sh*t on this island that most people would rather flush away without looking at – he’s a plumber, but so much more.
Continue reading Collapse Now, Avoid The Crush
The podcast and article that follow expresses opinions not necessarily shared by the Cortes Radio Society, its board, staff, volunteers or membership.
Editor’s note: Reality 101 with Rex Weyler was one of the lunchtime lectures at Cortes Island’s Folk University. This session was recorded and broadcast over Cortes Radio in the regular Cortes Currents slot on November 6, 2019. The theme is overshoot, and what this means to the future of humanity and our planet. Rex also writes about overshoot in the article below; the embedded podcast is Rex’s Folk U presentation.
I’m in Vancouver, riding the skytrain, the metro-region’s elevated and underground public transport system. In a crowded cabin, I gaze above the seats and see this advertisement:
“By 2050 sea levels have risen. Would you rather:
Continue reading Reality 101: Overshoot
- A: Build higher dikes to fight it?
- B: Develop underwater transit technology to embrace it?