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.Continue reading The Quadra Project: Overshoot – Part 2
With the COP 28 only a little more than a week away, the University of British Columbia held a press conference about key issues. In the breakout session, Cortes Currents asked Dr Simon Donner a former COP delegate and professor from the Department of Geography and Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, two questions.
- Many people on Cortes and Quadra Islands believe in the Overshoot theory. What do you say to people who believe that Climate Change is a symptom of a much larger problem: there are too many of us living on a planet with rapidly diminishing resources?
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
Sierra Quadra has been educating Quadra Islanders about the unfolding environmental crisis for close to 25 years, but they have been relatively quiet since COVID.
This is changing. On September 28 they joined with the Council of Canadians, in Campbell River, to protest the provincial governments failure to implement its strategy to preserve old growth forests. On October 21 they will be sponsoring the world premiere of Robert Bringhurst’s poem ‘The Ridge‘ at the Quadra Community Centre. They will be bringing two widely recognized films to Quadra this winter and plan to host a forum on environmental issues in March 2024.
Cortes Currents recently asked Ray Grigg, one of Sierra Quadra’s principle Directors, for an update on their vision for the future.Continue reading Sierra Quadra: How do we proceed?
Civilizations are precarious. They seem remarkably permanent to the people who are living within them, but history has a long list of civilizations that have failed. Some were conquered. However most just extended themselves beyond their problem-solving capabilities until a combination of environmental stresses and internal failures eroded the viability of the structure that held them together.
Our present global civilization is a marvellous accomplishment for humanity, unprecedented in human history. Yet it is beginning to feel precarious because the corrective responses that are needed from us to address its stresses seem beyond our human capabilities. Some of these stresses feel overwhelming because of their immensity and complexity. Others feel overwhelming because they seem to exceed our ability to act collectively with resolve and persistence. The uncomfortable feeling we are getting is that the very success of a global civilization may contain the germ of its failure.Continue reading The Quadra Project – Population