Tag Archives: William Rees

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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Sierra Quadra: How do we proceed? 

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. 

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Reality 102: Realistic Responses To Today’s Problems

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 102 with Rex Weyler was the conclusion of a two part series at Cortes Island’s Folk University. This session was recorded and broadcast over Cortes Radio in the regular Cortes Currents slot on November 13, 2019. Rex asks what are realistic responses to the problem of overshoot. He asks the same question in the article below; the embedded podcast is Rex’s Folk U presentation.

At the University of Minnesota Dr. Nate Hagens teaches an honours course called “Reality 101: A Survey of the Human Predicament.” Hagens operated his own hedge fund on Wall Street until he glimpsed, “a serious disconnect between capitalism, growth, and the natural world. Money did not appear to bring wealthy clients more well being.” Hagens became editor of The Oil Drum, and now sits on the Board of the Post Carbon Institute and the Institute for Integrated Economic Research.

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