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.

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We have recently updated our climate change pages with the current science showing where we are and what we need to do reduce our CO2 emissions.

You can begin a review of these new pages at Climate Crisis.

On 16 June 2017, the Qualicum Institute submitted an Environmental Petition to the Canadian Commissioner for Environment and Sustainable Development.
The petition consisted of nine questions, but the first question contained our central concern:

“What peer reviewed science—not neoclassical economics—is the government relying on to make the claim that we don’t need to choose between a healthy environment and a strong, growing economy?”

We know from the 2014 IPCC report that economic growth and population growth are the primary drivers of CO2 emissions and biodiversity loss: “Globally, economic and population growth continue to be the most important drivers of increases in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. The contribution of population growth between 2000 and 2010 remained roughly identical to that of the previous three decades, while the contribution of economic growth has risen sharply (high confidence)”1. It follows, as many scientists have pointed out, that economic growth and a healthy, sustainable environment appear to be mutually exclusive goals. Peer-reviewed science has also shown that economic growth is the limiting factor to biodiversity conservation.2 (read more…)

Back in 1992, the World’s Scientists published their first warning to humanity, stating we were on a collision course with the natural world. They emphasized that “a great change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided.”

We ignored their warning. We did essentially nothing.

Then, in December 2017, over 20,000 Scientists endorsed a second warning that noted:

“By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivize renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperilled biosphere.”

We have emphasized limiting population growth and reassing the role of an economy rooted in growth because, if we fail to address these two concerns, failure of virtually all the rest will follow.

The scientists concluded:

“To prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual. This prescription was well articulated by the world’s leading scientists 25 years ago, but in most respects, we have not heeded their warning. Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.”

What will we do this time?

You can do something immediately by endorsing the scientists second warning as an individual at Scientist’s Warning.org

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