We live in a truly extraordinary and wonderful world, which has evolved over millennia to be what it is. We have so much to be grateful for, whether it’s families, friends, delightful food, enriching conversations, gardens, plants and the incredible natural world. When we give ourselves time to get out into nature how can we be anything but grateful for the frost on cobwebs, lichen on trees or a beautiful sunset?
Yet despite this and our innate knowledge of how special the natural world is, mankind faces a crisis of an unprecedented scale. We have to face the shocking truth that we are systematically destroying the capability of our planet to sustain life and that we are part of life and therefore also threatened.
Beyond the environment, the economy and political systems are locked in an unhealthy relationship of growth and power which is becoming increasingly unsustainable.
We believe that it is our responsibility to challenge and reconsider our lifestyles and relationships and co-create resilient, sustainable communities. “Business as usual” is clearly not an option.
Mankind is clearly facing the potential of a deep multiple crisis that includes:
Currently growing at a rate of 1 billion every twelve years
We are living amidst the greatest mass extinction of species since that of the dinosaur’s 65 million years ago and the main cause is human activity.
The ecological limits of the oceans are now near or past tipping points
Over half of the world’s forests have been lost in the last 8000 years with most of that occurring in the 20th Century.
Groundwater is being pumped in many areas faster than it is being replenished causing aquifer depletion. Great rivers like the Colorado, Yellow River and the Nile no longer run to the sea all year round.
More resources have been consumed and have become depleted over the last 50 years than in all of our time on earth. Yet we are no happier and depression rates have reached epidemic proportions. Our addiction to consumption has serious consequences.
CO2 levels are at the highest for 42,000 years and the earth’s atmosphere is warming at the fastest rate in recorded history. This trend is projected to further change weather systems significantly and damage forests, marine ecosystems & agriculture. Human communities are also threatened by sea level rise and erratic weather events.
Ancient sunlight & its peak
We are rapidly squandering the precious resource of ancient sunlight that we have inherited and whilst Peak oil is being nudged off a little with the discovery of large sub-salt reserves off Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico and Africa, it is still likely to be reached this decade. Only history will decide when it’s happened and its impact on energy prices. They will certainly go up!
Our politicians and corporate businesses run the economy with the hope that it will grow forever on a planet with finite resources. To prop up this paradigm, most money is now in the precarious computer-driven financial markets rather than the real world of trade
Our political system is inextricably linked through lobbying to the industrial growth society of corporate business which feeds its addiction.
We are at a crossroads. A knife-edge. An ecological tipping point. We can choose which way to go. We have three possibilities:-
- We continue with ‘business as usual’ blind to what we are doing and hope that a miracle or a technological fix will sort everything out.
- We live into the disastrous possibilities that ‘business as usual’ is creating, sometimes called the ‘Great Unravelling’ and the consequences of the crisis.
- We choose this time as an opportunity to transition to a life-sustaining society, we might call this the ‘Great Turning’ to the Ecozoic age.
We are the generation with information, knowledge and science at our fingertips. Our actions and activities now will decide the fate of our world and that of our children and their children.
It is our choice which of the 3 stories we want to get behind. We can choose where we put our attention. There is no guarantee which story will unfold. Uncertainty is the only certainty!