Will peak everything bring peak resilience?

A few years ago, author and activist Derrick Jensen wrote in Orion magazine, "The most common words I hear spoken by any environmentalists anywhere are, We’re f***ed." I'd say that assessment - that a lot of environmentalists say that anyway - is pretty accurate.

Face it. Current and coming generations of people and other organisms face a wicked problem of interconnected wicked problems. Here are six:
  • Global human population will hit 7 billion this October and is projected to climb to 9 billion by ~2050.
  • Global warming has already reduced sea ice in the Arctic Ocean and caused extensive ice cap and glacial melting from Greenland to Argentina to Antarctica. Projected warming from the IPCC and other scientific bodies will cause further melting which will raise sea levels over the coming century, flooding coastal cities and sinking islands.
  • Deforestation, especially tropical deforestation, prevents carbon sinking and increases other greenhouse gas emissions while also changing the way equatorial weather patterns that regulate other weather patterns.
  • Industrial production is increasingly toxifying air, water, and land in many different places across the Earth and the most educated societies in the world do not understand the interactive effects of tens of thousands of unregualated chemicals.
  • Anti-biotics and vaccinations drive bacterial and viral virulence.
  • The modern industrial and post-industrial economies have been built with fossil fuels, mostly oil for transportation. Coal and oil peak production has more or less been reached while natural gas from deep shale gas is on the rise.
These problems all feed one another. Peak everything is here or coming and the response to it by big government and big industries is, well, sorely lacking according to today's guest.

Janaia Donaldson hosts Peak Moment TV, "online television series featuring people creating resilient communities for a more sustainable, lower-energy future. Programs range from permaculture farms to electric bikes, ecovillages to car-sharing, emergency preparedness to careers for the coming times." Like other guests on our show working with the "transition" and "slow money" movements, Donaldson has focused on how the big wicked problems above can be tackled by resilient and skilled people working together. She has interviewed women who have worked to bring gardens to school, psychologists examining reactions to climate change, economists critiquing growth economics, and environmental activists rallying people to find strength within themselves.

If there is anything we can be sure of, Donaldson has witnessed and soaked up a lot of wisdom on sustainability and resilience.

Hear her on today's Sustainability Now on the Lion 90.7 from 4-5 pm.

No comments:

Post a Comment