Saturday, August 25, 2007

Save the Earth, Kill Yourself

Doing some research, I ran across this list of the Top Ten Policies Necessary to Pursue Global Ecological Sustainability:

Following are the most urgent policy prescriptions necessary to maximize the likelihood of a habitable biosphere and minimize human death as a result of collapsing ecosystems. They are listed in order of importance. To have any chance of averting global apocalypse these sorts of policies must be implemented with all haste. Your comments are welcome regarding this list and avenues for implementation - which will be enumerated further as the project progresses.

No. 1 - POPULATION - Human populations surpass what the Earth can bear. We must stabilize and then reduce human population to at most a third current levels. Global limits must be placed on the number of children born, using incentives at first such as tax benefits for smaller families. Humanity can reduce population on their own accord or the Earth will do so for us.

No. 2 - GREENHOUSE GASES - Abrupt runaway climate change is happening now as energy costs the Earth dearly. Greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by at least 70% as soon as possible. Maintaining an operable atmosphere requires phasing out coal and oil, introducing a substantial carbon tax, investing in renewable energy, and rigorously pursuing conservation and efficiency. No large-scale new energy systems such as nuclear or biofuel until shown to be environmentally benign in the long-term.

No. 3 - PROTECT ECOSYSTEMS - Large, connected and strictly protected ecosystems over much of the land and sea are a prerequisite for provision of air, water, biodiversity, soil and other services upon which life depends. Large protected marine areas must be established, ending industrial fishing. And ancient forest logging must end, strictly protecting remaining intact natural habitats.

No. 4 - CONSUMPTION - Excessive resource use to meet frivolous human wants must be restricted by promoting a consumption ethic that stresses voluntary simplicity and a sense of "enoughness", and laws that minimize impacts. Simple reforms such as standardizing consumer packaging and making all waste recyclable will reduce necessary consumption's impacts.

No. 5 - AGRICULTURE - A transition must be made to sustainable agricultural practices and eating habits with the emphasis upon organic, non-GMO, low meat diets that are locally produced. Eating habits impact virtually all ecosystems, resulting in natural forest clearing, toxic food chains, depleted water, soil loss and reduction of ecosystems' ability to hold carbon.

No. 6 - SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIES - Economic systems are a subset of ecological systems and as such all economic activities must maintain or expand natural capital. Growth that destroys natural capital is not sustainable, and growth as a measure of economic activity is an ecological malignancy. A steady state, sustainable economy must be business, industry and humanity's goal.

No. 7 - GREEN TECHNOLOGY - Technology by itself cannot bring sustainability, but clean and green technologies are important and provide huge economic opportunities. There is tremendous potential for development of energy efficient, more sustainable and fully recyclable buildings, products and services (including hybrid cars and fluorescent lightbulbs). But the use and trade of toxic chemicals must end.

No. 8 - ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION - Too many ecosystems have already been lost and diminished for humanity to persist. Achieving sustainability and preparing for post collapse societies depends upon targeted restoration of important ecosystems. Priorities for ecological restoration include watersheds, establishing ecological core areas and urban environments.

No. 9 - POVERTY- Billions living in desperate poverty is unethical and damages the environment. All cannot live like Americans, but if the Earth's wealth is shared we can all live well. The focus must be upon the overdeveloped world living more simply, sustainable development, equitable and just political and economic systems, and green technology transfer.

No. 10 - DEMILITARIZATION - Increasingly conflicts over resources fuel militarism and insurgency. Military budgets divert resources from crucial social and environmental investments, and must be slashed. Lasting security that is equitable, just and sustainable is best achieved through greater international law and investments that nurture global ecosystems.|Top Ten Policies Necessary to Pursue Global Ecological Sustainability - Ecological Internet| (emphasis added)
I think this is a fabulous list. The writing is on the wall, all we have to do is read it and implement it.

But we don't have the collective will and people continue having children despite the fact that the future is going to resemble Soylent Green, but they convince themselves it will all look like the Jetsons.

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