Letters to the Editor

Global collapse

A growing body of enviro-scientific literature seems to be pointing to a “perfect storm” for humanity within 15 years.

John Beddington, chief scientific adviser to the UK government, in a recent study, says there are problems of food security, climate change, population growth and the need to sustainably manage the world’s rapidly growing demand for energy and water.

“This threatens to create a ‘perfect storm’ of global events,” he wrote.

KPMG, one of the largest professional services companies in the world and one of the big four auditors, in a more empirical study, says “the combined pressures of population growth, economic growth and climate change will place increased stress on essential natural resources (including water, food, arable land and energy). These issues will place sustainable resource management at the center of government agendas.”

Under the current agenda of “business as usual,” will the governments be able to deliver?

At the same time, a new study sponsored by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that “global industrial civilization could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.”

Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.”

And speaking of “unequal wealth distribution and economic growth,” a new book entitled What every environmentalist needs to know about capitalism puts it all down to capitalism — the drive for ever greater growth, the subsequent consumption of resources, the hoarding of profits, the impoverished enslavement of the working class and the need for ever greater riches by the wealthy elite.

We must now ask ourselves: why is the destruction of the natural world happening?

Stan Gauthier

Parksville

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