Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Not good news; what do we do about it?

The BBC online news featured a not-so-cheerful front-page story; Google news listed several such stories, too, all pointing to the report released by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.

For an interesting earlier study, check out Tracking the ecological overshoot of the human economy in the July 9, 2002 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That reports the conclusions of a study of how well we humans live within the regenerative capacity of the biosphere and suggests we may have passed that limit in the 1980s.

"Why is that a big deal? If it gets too bad, we'll just stop doing those things, right? Besides, you said something about the 1980s, and I'm doing just fine today where I am." John Sterman makes an eloquent argument for more caution.

"But why us? That's the responsibility of governments, not businesses and individuals. I can't do anything." As Jim Wallis quotes from Lisa Sullivan in God's Politics, "We are the ones we've been waiting for." We don't make progress by waiting for someone else to lead us; we make progress by stepping forward ourselves.

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