Some changes we must make
for a sustainable future!
There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil
to one who is striking at the root…
– Henry David Thoreau
In these times of climate change deniers, indeed, deniers of just about everything that is or isn’t going wrong with life on this planet, who can you believe?
We at The Qualicum Institute put a lot of credence in science. Certainly, there are charlatans in the scientific community, too, but if a scientist puts out false or misleading information, other scientists are usually quick to point it out. That’s because one of the most powerful characteristics of science is its falsifiability: if untrue, it can be shown to be untrue, unlike non-science-based beliefs.
The present time in our history on the Earth is unique: never before have we been confronted with so many crises, all of which appear to be coming together at about the same time (see Limits to growth). To deal with this dilemma, we first have to understand and accept the seriousness of the problems confronting us and then we have to act. But we must act wisely. For too long we have been dealing only with the symptoms. As Thoreau points out, we have to begin striking at the root.
But we don’t ask you to take our word for it. We encourage you to do your own research using this site as a starting point. Understand that there are those with vested interests in maintaining the status quo. Give comments from those with scientific expertise more weight in drawing your conclusions. Who can you believe? After careful research and thoughtful consideration, you can simply believe yourself.
Our main concern
Our main concern is that few people on Earth today are addressing what we call the proximate cause of our environmental problems: economic growth. Most of us, including environmentalists and conservation organizations, are simply addressing the myriad symptoms that the cause is creating.
The ecosystems that we depend on for survival, and the biodiversity they contain, are the foundation of a healthy economy and the social well-being of humanity. Locally and globally there has been an alarming loss of ecosystems and their biological diversity, widespread air and water pollution, global climate change, economic instability, and social deterioration.
We believe that these assaults on the Earth and ultimately on our social well-being stem from the way we think about and deal with the natural world. Our ideas about the Earth and the other creatures that share the planet with us have led us to over-consume the world’s natural resources and continue our uncontrolled growth of population. Both of these factors facilitate economic growth, a perennial goal of governments around the world. Economic growth invariably results in the appropriation, degradation, or even liquidation of natural ecosystems and their biodiversity.
Until we begin addressing the root cause—economic growth—we believe that little will change for the better.