The Earth is full, but abundance is our future. What?

February 29, 2012 | By | 1 Reply More

We have done nothing to change course, despite the rapid rate at which we are exhausting the Earth’s resources. In a recent TED talk, Australian Paul Guilding tells us that it is beyond dispute, beyond any margin of error, that “the Earth is full.” To sustain current human activity, we’d need 1.5 Earths. Therefore, we are at the “end of growth,” and Guilding says it’s well underway. The evidence is all around us.

So how are we going to respond and react to this crisis?

And now for an opposing point of view, also at TED: Peter Diamandis makes a case for optimism — that we’ll invent, innovate and create ways to solve the challenges that loom over us. “I’m not saying we don’t have our set of problems; we surely do. But ultimately, we knock them down.”

OK, so one expert says we’re in massive trouble and the other says things have never been better. No wonder people are so suspicious about experts.


Category: Sustainable Living

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Adam Herman says:

    You can’t count on innovation to get us out of the Malthusian crunch. But it can, and in the past, has, happened. But it’s happened mainly by only a small portion of the world’s population consuming resources at full potential. What happens when China, India, South America, and Africa start driving cars and buying Ipads? It’s a very prosperous future and a very optimistic future, but only if it doesn’t destroy the planet or use up limited resources. It can be done. I tend to side with the optimists because once you fully unlock the potential of 4 billion more minds, we might be surprised by how much we can accomplish. For all we know, someone in Africa smart enough to cure cancer never will because he or she doesn’t have education or even running water. Someone in Saudi arabia might be the person to discover an unlimited source of clean energy, except that instead of being trained in science, he’s being trained in religious studies.

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