What we are suffering from today as the greatest sustainability challenge is not poverty, it is not greed, it is not climate change, it is not declining fisheries … or forests or biodiversity. None of those things, though they are very, very important. What we are suffering from today is the lack of competence in our leadership…

Dr. Karl-Henrik Robèrt, Founder of The Natural Step.

Blogs and Articles that
support the Qualicum Institute Tenets

We have added a new page that discusses government borrowing from the Bank of Canada and the myth that this would cause inflation. You can find the essay here.

New QI Presentation

Although we had decided to stop giving our presentations, BC Nature sent us a request and, because they had previously adopted a position on economic growth, which makes a powerful statement in support of sustainability, we chose to acquiesce to their request. This Qualicum Institute presentation, along with accompanying notes, can be found here: BC Nature Presentation.

2016–2019 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

Public consultation has just ended for the government’s draft 2016–2019 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. The draft’s “vision for a sustainable Canada includes a strong and growing economy, healthy ecosystems that are protected from pollution and degradation, and an excellent quality of life for Canadians.” That simple statement demonstrates a fatal flaw in the strategy, for you can’t have a strong and growing economy and healthy ecosystems. To find out why, have a look at the Qualicum Institute’s general comments on the strategy.

The Sustainability Conundrum

Richard Hampton
Qualicum Institute

Note: This was first published on the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere blog

Science is telling us that our world is in trouble. We have too many people consuming too much stuff. There is hope however, as humanity is slowly demonstrating a spontaneous propensity towards developing the behavioral adaptations necessary to reach a sustainable population and a respect for nature that could enable human civilization to persist.

Of course failure to change humanity’s dominant behavior and adapt would result in an irreversible depletion of non-renewable resources and fouling of the biosphere with our waste. Even worse, population would continue to expand and consumption would continue to grow exponentially. The outlook is bleak if the forces of human population and consumption continue unchecked. Extinctions will increase to massive proportions, eliminating many of the creatures with whom we share this planet and by extension humanity itself.

We know that with sufficient, non-coercive incentives (e.g., education of women, contraception) that birthrates and thus population can be reduced; however, (read more…)

Since the QI’s inception, we’ve given many presentations to a wide range of audiences, spanning local governments and university and college classes, to political parties, rate payers associations and environmental organizations. The QI directors thank those who have invited us; we’ve enjoyed meeting you and the provocative discussions that the talks brought forward.

Judging by the reviews we received—some included on our Presentations page— it seems as though most organizations thought our presentations worthwhile. From our perspective, the effort of preparing and giving our thoughtful, science-based presentations was also well worthwhile in that we needed to go through that process to convince ourselves that an inspiring, well-researched, logical talk wasn’t anywhere near enough or even efficacious in moving towards a sustainable society—an important and difficult lesson to learn. (read more…)

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