Professor Albert Bartlett
“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”
“Can you think of any problem in any area of human endeavor on any scale, from microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by further increases in population, locally, nationally, or globally?”
There’s no tomorrow
It’s not just climate change that we’re on a collision course with, we’re in conflict with basic arithmetic, specifically the exponential function. Although Thomas Malthus’ timing was off, he got it right, and mathematics will win in the end. The 32 minute video above explains why.
How did we get into this mess?
We have an economic system based upon ever-increasing interest bearing debt and its built-in requirement for continual growth. That growth is fuelled mainly by burning stuff. We need to understand why continual growth on a finite planet is not only undesirable, It’s flat-out impossible.
The best man to explain that is Professor Albert Bartlett with “The Most Important Video You’ll Ever See.”
This is important, really important
Change our ways today and our grandchildren will face an increasingly difficult future.
Continue business as usual and they will face Apocalypse.
The ongoing financial crisis is a serious problem which has cost millions of people their jobs and their homes, but eventually it will end. Maybe badly, maybe very badly. We’ll be poorer but we’ll get over it.
On the other hand, we can’t so easily thumb our noses at the laws of physics. The ever more dire probable outcome of our failure to control growth and to stem climate changing fossil fuel burning has reached the frightening stage. It will end badly. There is a significant possibility that it could end our civilization. It is almost certain that within decades it will radically alter the way we live, especially in the richer nations of the world.
Climate change: prepare for the worst, hope for sanity to prevail
David Roberts from Grist puts it in perspective:
Why did this happen?
How we got to this sorry state
There’s no tomorrow
Annie Leonard’s been wondering…
The video which resulted from Annie’s deliberations is a must see for everyone who thinks it’s a good idea to keep our planet viable. It’s a must-see even if you don’t give a stuff about the planet but you just need an excuse to get off the madcap consumer roller coaster.
How did big business create a system that puts consumer products on the shelf for a fraction of their actual cost? We’ve all wondered about it. Annie went to find out and it changed her life.
She tells you in an entertaining and disturbing way how this obscene system started, how it functions, and why—one way or another—it cannot last. She’ll tell you the real cost of our addiction to stuff and why your grandchildren will pay for it tomorrow just as the world’s poor are paying for it right now.
Please visit Annie and The Story of Stuff
Click right here to go to the Story of Stuff website where there’s a lot more stuff about our obsession with stuff. Annie has become the Executive Director of Greenpeace USA recently, so has less hands-on role at the website.