Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Reflecting on "Living Beyond Our Means"

The MA (http://www.maweb.org/documents/document.429.aspx.pdf) has done a thorough job at pointing out the consequences of ecosystem change in the need to supply, what seems to be perceived as an "endless" supply of resources, to fit the demands for food, fresh water, fiber, and energy. The problem falls in two parts on the shoulders of humans. Firstly, the thought that these resources are thought to be limitless, and secondly, the exponential growth in human population.

How can the need for fresh water and food be met when it is projected that our population is to double in the next fifty years? Imagine, twelve billion people on earth by 2060. Even the essentials will be hard to come by especially since we completely rely on the services that nature provide. But it is hard for a government to put a limit on a person and tell them that they cannot have any more children. Will people put a limit on themselves?

Even with regulating the use of resources, we still live in a throw-away society. Space is another ultimate resource that is not hit on. Where will our waste go? How expansive and high can Mt. Rumpke be? They point out that "with the invention of synthetic material, other materials are still used in huge quantities." Synthetic material doesn't come out of nowhere. It is made from resources. Ultimately is it speeding up the uses of other resources. It is replacing one thing for another. Disposal of these synthetic material is critical because they are not degraded as quickly (or at all...but are biodegradable material degraded in a landfill).

Ultimatley popualtion has to be controlled, even if we don't want to. We need a little self-regulation, but that ultimately does not do well for economies where it will make it unstable where the bottom cannot support the top (I am getting off track).

What is the ultimate message that we can take? We must seek a better way.

No comments: