Can Humans Build Thriving Economies While Saving the World?
Alan L. Johnson
A University of Colorado at Boulder publication, "The science of sustainability: Can a unified path for development and conservation lead to a better future?" asked an interesting question:
Can humans drive economic growth, meet rising demand for food, energy and water, and make significant environmental progress?
This is a fascinating question because most people assume that human economic growth is at odds with environmental health. And, it is true that this perception plays out in reality globally in our oceans.
In an article in Science Daily, the author stresses the point:
But new research makes the case that this perception of development vs. conservation is not just unnecessary but actively counterproductive to both ends. Achieving a sustainable future will be dependent on our ability to secure both thriving human communities and abundant and healthy natural ecosystems.
What I believe we should all love about this worldview is that it cherishes what is good in all of us and the incredible ability we posses to create. Our own manifestations are what can make the world a better and healthier place to live and everyone has the power within them.
The other more pressing question is do we have the fortitude to do what it takes to essentially save the world?
According to Science Daily:
The short answer is 'yes,' but it comes with several big 'ifs.' New research shows that we can put the world on a path to sustainability if we make significant changes within the next 10 years.
With news of the IPCC saying we have 12 years before seeing catastrophic environmental changes it seems there is mounting pressure and research pointing to a need for action and relatively quickly.
The folks at UC Boulder conclude with what they feel is possible if we embrace more circular economic and sustainable thinking:
Achieving this sustainable future for people and nature is possible with existing and expected technology and consumption, but only with major shifts in production patterns. In short, it is not likely that the biophysical limits of the planet will determine our future, but rather our willingness to think and act differently by putting economic development and the environment on equal footing as central parts of the same equation.
So the choice is up to us. Can we work with each other, across party, state, and country lines to build a better more sustainable future? I choose to believe we can.
Reality Changing Observations:
Q1. When someone talks about global warming, what is your reaction?
Q2. How can you help create a more sustainable future for our planet?
Q3. What conversations have you had about global warming?