There is a strong likelihood that the current threats to the sustainability of Spaceship Earth, at least for civilised human occupation, are beyond solution, given the large number of accelerating dysfunctions brought about by human behaviour. Fifteen of these are:
Natural World Stressors
- Climate disruption & sea level rise
- Pollution of air, water and land
- Depletion – fossil energy and minerals
- Depletion – fisheries, forests, soils, water
- Biodiversity and ecosystem losses (the planet’s 6th Great Extinction.)
- Global epidemics of disease‘Machine’ World Stressors
- Global debt-based financial system instability
- Increasing inequality in wealth & poverty (recently represented as the 1% and the 99%)
- Illegal migration & criminal global trafficking
- Regional ethnic, resource & religious conflicts
- Nuclear weapon proliferation
- Urbanization & mega-cities (31 cities with over 10 million population)
- Cyber-warfare and internet fragility
- Uncontrolled artificial intelligence (AI)
Nevertheless, for the sake of coming generations and the planet we cannot abandon the hope of finding solutions. Hope of progress and redemption is part religious and liberal humanistic beliefs, the ‘stories’ that give purpose to so many lives. Writers such as John Gray and Ronald Wright characterise ‘progress’ as a delusional myth, given the record of history and the exponential impact of human activity on the very systems that support life. But large numbers of people are still seeking solutions to many of these ‘stressors’. This section of the resource platform will collect together some of their hope-driven efforts to create a safe operating space for humanity within the limits of the planet that sustains us.
This post from Jeremy Williams argues that news media should concentrate more on solutions as problem-focused news overwhelmingly predominate. He identifies some of the outlets that favours solution-focused news.
This post from George Monbiot uses the explosion of car ownership (“Carmaggedon”) in both the UK and globally to show how politicians fail to see obvious solutions to this threat to the global atmosphere and to peoples’ health and well-being. There are currently 1.2 billion vehicles on earth, expected to increase to 2 billion by 2035 – almost one vehicle for every four people!