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Population

Why climate change isn’t our biggest environmental problem, and why technology won’t save us

Richard Heinberg writes: Over the past century-and-a-half, fossil fuels enabled the rapid growth of resource extraction, manufacturing, and consumption; and these in turn led to population increase, pollution, and loss of natural habitat and hence biodiversity. Our core ecological problem is not climate change. It is overshoot, of which global warming is only a symptom.

Richard Heinberg: Ecological collapse? There’s no app for that

Even when we question the personal impacts of modern technology, how many of us consider how our dependence on technology might be harming us? Or question the belief that technological advances will save us from our most pressing environmental and societal challenges? Richard Heinberg tackles this thorny issue in this brilliant essay and animation feature.

Thomas Robert Malthus, we need your voice today!

John Scales Avery writes in Countercurrents.org: Malthus’ “Essay on The Principle of Population” was one of the first systematic studies of the problem of population in relation to resources. He was the first to stress the fact that, in general, powerful checks operate continuously to keep human populations from increasing beyond their available food supply.

Marxism, ecology and the Anthropocene: A debate

Editor’s Note: Last week, Ecologise carried the well-known Marxist scholar John Bellamy Foster’s foreword to a new book, Facing the Anthropocene. In response, noted eco-socialist writer Saral Sarkar posted a comment questioning the usefulness of Marxist analysis in understanding the global ecological crisis. This short piece, first published on Ecologise, is Foster’s reply to Sarkar.

Herman Daly: Thoughts on Pope Francis’ Laudato Si

The pioneering American economist who helped found the discipline of Ecological Economics, and presently a leading theorist of ‘steady-state economics’, muses on Pope Francis’ ground-breaking encyclical on environment and justice. “At a minimum, he’s given us a more truthful, informed, and courageous analysis of the environmental and moral crisis than have our secular political leaders.”

‘Gandhi was perfectly sensible to call industrial civilisation “a nine days wonder”’

From TheWire.in: Ecological economist, Gandhian thinker and author Mark Lindley has some stark warnings for the future of hi-tech societies, and a few ‘prescriptions’ for India and for economists, who he says vastly underestimate the gravity of the looming environmental crises. Ecologise and Graama Seva Sangha recently organised a lecture series by Lindley in Bangalore.

The sixth mass extinction and chemicals in the environment

Colin Todhunter writes: A new paper by Rosemary A. Mason in the Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry, titled ‘The sixth mass extinction and chemicals in the environment’ indicates that a ‘sixth extinction’ is presently under way (The Sixth Extinction, describes the ongoing extinction of species during the present Holocene epoch – since around 10,000 BCE). Download paper: The sixth mass extinction and chemicals in the

News update

Fossil fuels subsidised by $10m a minute, says IMF The Guardian UK Fossil fuel companies are benefitting from global subsidies of $5.3tn (£3.4tn) a year, equivalent to $10m a minute every day, according to a startling new estimate by the International Monetary Fund. The IMF calls the revelation “shocking” and says the figure is an

Video: Lord Man Parable

This video uses images and text from the book Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot which speaks to how man once lived peacefully with all of the Earth’s beauty but has quickly taken-for-granted all the resources and animals causing great environmental and sustainability issues. Hieronymus Bosch’s ghastly depictions of hell meet their match in many of the real-life images collected

News update

Ebola: Uncharted territory for a system in overshoot Mary Odum, Prosperouswaydown.com We are in uncharted territory with the Ebola virus disease (EVD). This pandemic signifies a turning point for society in response to peak oil, highlighting the problem of globalization for a planet of 7 billion people. We have lost control of a deadly outbreak, and our responses to

News update

Greenhouse Gas Pollution Sees Fastest Rise From The Scientific American Despite some recent regional reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and other industrial nations, the total concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continues its upward march at an unprecedented rate, the World Meteorological Organization has announced. Stand by for the ‘megadroughts’,

Peak Complexity, Peak Ignorance and Peak Selfishness

By Johnson Dantis, POI member I have been reading many posts on the Peak Oil India website about various events related to environment, sustainability, climate change, energy etc. I often find that such conferences and seminars do not have the seriousness these issues deserve. I sometimes visualize the importance of these as a sort of kitty

Old Age and Peak Oil

By T. Vijayendra, POI Founder-Member “Old age is a tiredness that does not disappear the next morning, as we ingenuously expected upon going to bed”. – Baldomero Fernández Moreno, Argentinean poet OLD AGE People above sixty years are considered old or senior citizens. It is the percentage of old people in the total population that is

Population: A Heretical View

T. Vijayendra argues that today’s population explosion is essentially a product of cheap oil, and that the end of oil means we will be forced to consider a new approach to population which many would find unpalatable now – but would ultimately help humans strike a balance between population and resource consumption The twentieth century was