Do You Want To Make An Impact?
Balance EES - Environment, Economics, Social
Well, I guess it is time to make a statement. We need to have balance. A balance between the economy, the environment and the health care of our citizens is essential for a healthy civilization. They must be accountable and treated equally.
Over the last thirty years, the focus has been on the economy, especially politically. Unfortunately, this prime target was at the expense of the human side of society, and the natural side of the environment.
The emphasis has been for the production of goods and services which helps stimulates economic growth and supposedly creates jobs and more jobs. With this came expansion of urban development at the expense of losing valuable agricultural land and rapid depletion of natural resources including water. This has created jobs in certain labour markets but at the expense of the health of the workers -- long work hours, little time for family and friends, poor working conditions, and potential health and accident risks – creating physical and mental stress. The environment has in part, been able to handle the assault on its very vitality. No longer. We have tipped the scales and our ecosystems are overtaxed with pollution, thus minizing. our chances for survival and sustainability.
There are four undeniable facts that must be reminded but not forgotten. First, energy is the most important element for economic growth and in the resulting consumption of goods and waste generated. Without energy, civilization as we know it, would collapse. Secondly, the measurement of the health of an ecosystem is its biological diversity. The lower the biological diversity, the more sick the ecosystem becomes. Thirdly, ecosystems are interconnected to each other and to nature’s cycles (carbon cycle, water cycle, nitrogen cycle, etc.) If one ecosystem is severely damaged or a keystone species is eliminated through a domino effect, other ecosystems would systemically collapsed. Each ecosystem provides many functional needs to others and tampering with them would lead to the destruction of our life-support system. Fourthly, everything that we do is accelerating, at a pace we have never seen before. Economic growth, population growth, rate of consumption by consumers, waste generation, electronic innovations, growth of our megacities, tar sands development, our national debt, greenhouse gas emissions, and economic wealth of multicorporations. These are many examples of exponential growth. Exponential growth behavior starts off with small gains, but at a certain point begin to explode very rapidly without any sign of stopping. Many of the above examples have already reached this “tipping point”. But, there are examples of things which exhibit exponential “decay”. Examples are depletion of our natural resources. ie. Water conventional oil, fish supplies, forests, wildlife.
We are living in a world of increasing addiction for energy, consumer shopping for material goods, and wealth. The driving force behind this is the pursuit of corporate and individual wealth.. Unfortunately all of this, is at the expense of our health and environment. The whole idea, presented by the marketing cleverness of corporations is consumerism is fundamental to individual happiness. Research has shown that this is not true. People are contented when their basic needs are met and one does not have to make a “statement” to others But when people start living beyond their basic needs, it becomes a sort of addiction --- you never can have enough. More material wealth does not bring more happiness or satisfaction but just the opposite.
This failure to recognize the importance of our own health and well-being and the effects on the biological diversity of the environment, both morally and politically, could lead to the demise of our modern civilization.
Jerry Marden of the International Forum On Globalization has coined the term “the triple crisis” to describe the dominant ecological and social forces that are now converging to pose a direct threat to the future of the planet and our industrial society as we know it. This triple threat consists of (1) the exponential increase of climate chaos due to the heating of the planet caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases, (2) the peaking of oil, natural gas, coal and other fossil fuels, thereby ushering in the end of cheap energy, and (3) the depletion of other natural resources, especially fresh water, and the forests, fish, wildlife, biodiversity, coral reefs and fertile soils.
This “triple crisis” itself is primarily generated by a paradigm that places rapid and expanding economic growth at the center of everything. The driving force behind this paradigm is the pursuit of increasing corporate and individual wealth. To feed the growth, there is a planet-wide race to exploit natural resources and uncontrolled use of fossil fuels. Thus we have no respect of how we utilize our natural resources properly to insure the well-being of future generations.
I feel we have a moral obligation to protect our planet from the rape and plundering of this, our planet by corporations and individuals who had no respect for people and wildlife lesser than themselves. They feel they are “king”. We need to take a stand against those who feel it is their “right” to take what they feel is theirs (and theirs, alone). When in actually, the planet and all of its inhabitants and the natural resources belong to everyone. No corporation or organization or individual have “rights” over our water, our air, our soils or over other life forms on this planet. We need to think of sharing our resources equally but prudently. Competing for natural resources and for wealth and power is unhealthy and leads to destructible behavior. We have only one home and this is it. Abuse it and we lose it!