Global Plan for Sustainablility?

Almost every day I come across a new article that repeats the concerns I have long held about the imminence of socio-ecological collapse and the failure of our polictical and economic systsem leaders to acknowledge or act to address this unprecedented threat to our planetary existence on Spaceship Earth. This article by William E. Rees, professor emeritus of human ecology and ecological economics at the University of British Columbia, Canada. It laments the lack of a global sustainability plan in the face of this evident trend towards widespread collapse. This extract gives a taster from

Staving Off the Coming Global Collapse

‘Overshoot’ is when a species uses resources faster than can be replenished. We’re already there. And show no signs of changing.


simplistic, growth-oriented, market-based economic thinking … is all but running the world today. Prevailing neoliberal economic models make no useful reference to the dynamics of the ecosystems or social systems with which the economy interacts in the real world.

What truly intelligent species would attempt to fly spaceship Earth, with all its mind-boggling complexity, using the conceptual equivalent of a 1955 Volkswagen Beetle driver’s manual?

Failure to implement a global sustainability plan that addresses excess consumption and over-population while ensuring greater social equity may well be fatal to global civilization. Indeed, adherence to any variant of the growth-bound status quo promises a future of uncontrollable climate change, plummeting biodiversity, civil disorder, geopolitical turmoil and resource wars.

In these circumstances, should not elected politicians everywhere have an obligation to explain how their policies reflect the fact of global overshoot?

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