Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Resource depletion (31)

The Manifesto

Ultima Llamada / 2014

ultima-llamada-v0-2-640x927Today, there is mounting evidence indicating that the path of unlimited growth is similar to a slow motion genocide. The end of cheap energy, the catastrophic scenarios of climate change, and geopolitical conflicts over natural resources illustrate that the years of seemingly unlimited progress are forever gone.

To cope with this challenge, the flimsy mantra of sustainable development is not enough; nor is betting on eco-efficient technologies or a supposed transition to any “green economy”. Indeed, all these versions of friendly development disguise plans for the general commodification of natural resources and ecosystemic services. Technological solutions, to both the environmental crisis and the decline in energy production, are insufficient. Further, the ecological crisis is not an incidental problem, but an essential one that is affecting many societal issues: food, transportation, industry, urbanization, military conflicts… In fact, it concerns the foundations of our economy and our lives.

We are trapped in the perverse dynamics of a civilization that does not work if it does not grow, even if growth destroys the resources that maintain the civilization. Our culture, completely addicted to technological and market solutions, has forgotten that, in fact, we are inherently part of an interdependent ecosystem.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Islamic declaration turns up heat

IPS News / Kitty Stapp / 19 August 2015

muftiFollowing in the footsteps of Pope Francis, who has taken a vocal stance on climate change, Muslim leaders and scholars from 20 countries issued a joint declaration Tuesday underlining the severity of the problem and urging governments to commit to 100 percent renewable energy or a zero emissions strategy.

Notably, it calls on oil-rich, wealthy Muslim countries to lead the charge in phasing out fossil fuels “no later than the middle of the century.”

The call to action, which draws on Islamic teachings, was adopted at an International Islamic Climate Change Symposium in Istanbul.

“Our species, though selected to be a caretaker or steward (khalifah) on the earth, has been the cause of such corruption and devastation on it that we are in danger ending life as we know it on our planet,” the Islamic Declaration on Climate statement says.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

The boundaries and future of solution space – Part 5

The Automatic Earth / Nicole Foss / 19 August 2015

DanteLooksUponNegligentRulers550To use the word ‘solution’ is perhaps misleading, since it could be said to imply that circumstances exist which could allow us to continue business as usual, and this is not, in fact, the case. A crunch period cannot be avoided. We face an intractable predicament, and the consequences of overshoot are going to manifest no matter what we do. However, while we may not be able to prevent this from occurring, we can mitigate the impact and lay the foundation for a fundamentally different and more workable way of being in the world.

Acknowledging the non-negotiable allows us to avoid beating our heads against a brick wall, freeing us to focus on that which we can either influence or change, and acknowledging the limits within which we must operate, even in these areas, allows us to act far more effectively without wasting scarce resources on fantasies. There are plenty of actions which can be taken, but those with potential for building a viable future will be inexpensive, small-scale, simple, low-energy, community-based initiatives. It will be important to work with natural systems in accordance with permaculture principles, rather than in opposition to them as we currently do so comprehensively.

[ Must read: FULL ARTICLE ]

Canada falls far short of Pope Francis’ call for ecological justice

KAIROS / Policy Briefing Paper No. 42 / July 2015

March through RomeLaudato Si (Praise Be), On Care for our Common Home, has been the most anticipated and commented upon papal encyclical in history. Writing in his straightforward style, Pope Francis addresses climate change in the context of a globalized economy that is threatening the Earth’s capacity to sustain life while creating “tragic effects of environmental degradation in the lives of the world’s poorest.” Leaders from many other faiths have endorsed the Pope’s urgent call for action on climate change.

This Briefing Paper will assess Canadian policies in light of Pope Francis’ call for ecological justice.

[ FULL PAPER ]

Coming of age in the age of extinction

In These Times / Martin de Bourmont, Dayton Martindale / 10 August 2015

bourmont_martindale_climate_extinction_850_592A 2007 poll of more than a thousand middle schoolers found that almost 60 percent feared climate change more than terrorism, car crashes or cancer. Roughly the same percentage thought more needed to be done to combat the threat, and more than 40 percent reported that concern about climate change occasionally occupies their minds.

“Unlike adults who can put their heads in the sand … kids are very aware of what’s going on,” said Chris Saade, a North Carolina-based psychotherapist, in a 2014 interview with The Globe and Mail. “Children often ask me questions that we, as adults, try to evade: ‘What is going to happen to the human race?’ ”

Most of the middle schoolers from 2007 are now in their early 20s. For a generation that was born after the Cold War and came of age in the Anthropocene, to what extent does climate fear persist into young adulthood?

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Earth’s battery is running low

The Tyee / Andrew Nikiforuk / 10 August 2015

EarthFromSpace_610pxIn the quiet of summer, a couple of U.S. scientists argued in the pages of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that modern civilization has drained the Earth — an ancient battery of stored chemical energy — to a dangerous low.

Although the battery metaphor made headlines in leading newspapers in China, India and Russia, the paper didn’t garner “much immediate attention in North America,” admits lead author John Schramski, a mechanical engineer and an ecologist.

And that’s a shame, because the paper gives ordinary people an elegant metaphor to understand the globe’s stagnating economic and political systems and their close relatives: collapsing ecosystems. It also offers a blunt course of action: “drastic” energy conservation.

It, too, comes with a provocative title: “Human domination of the biosphere: Rapid discharge of the Earth-space battery foretells the future of humankind.”

The battery metaphor speaks volumes and then some.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

The Transition Towns movement aims toward veering away from excessive consumption – to deal with the conjoined problems of peak oil and climate change – but also in the belief that we may create an essentially more contented society, through building strong and resilient local communities. We will get to know our neighbours better, because we shall all need one another in the time to come.

— Chris Rhodes, Resource Insights (03 June 2013)
TB Projects

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