sustainability

From: geoffrey
Sent on: Sunday, May 20, 2007 9:29 AM
dear martin,
    after the last meeting i realised just how difficult it is to get the message of sustainability across and how poor a job people like myself do in trying to transmit that information.
    the vast majority of people do not understand how potentially disastrous the situation is. just because one's life experience has been good so far does not mean that things will be wonderful in future. just because societies have weathered small disruptions before does not mean we can cope with the future crises.
 
in fact, many societies have collapsed before, but the people from those failed societies are not around to offer their cautionary advice, being long dead.
 
    we may be living on a beachfront and may argue that because we have survived 6 foot high wave surges before, we will cope in the future with no problem. sure, a few people died previously, but the rest of us coped and that is how most people imagine the future will be. little do you know that just beyond the horizon there is a 1000 foot high tsunami on the way, travelling towards us at the speed of a 747, the likes of which we have never seen before. the scientists can see this tsunami with their long range telescopes but everyone else is in a state of stubborn denial.
 
    this metaphorical tsunami represents the triple threats of climate change, petroleum depletion and overpopulation. only if you look at the facts and evidence can you really understand this.
 
    is there a way we can survive a 1000 foot tsunami? yes, but we have to run like hell for the high ground and we have to run now and we all have to do it together. there are some who may argue that the tsunami cannot exist because they cannot imagine it to exist. However they have no understanding of the scientific facts or the evidence. this is not a sensible or reasoned argument.
 
here are some books which are necessary reading before one can make any reasoned comment on the state of the world:
 
A short history of progress by Ronald Wright, archeologist and author (easiest and shortest to read if you have little time)
Collapse by Jared Diamond (professor at UCLA and pulitzer prize winner)
The future of life by EO Wilson (distinguished Harvard biologist)
Powerdown by Richard Heinberg, ecologist (video interview on a CD i gave you previously)
We are the Weathermakers by Tim Flannery (absolutely essential)
 
there will be a documentary on crude oil soon on i think ABC TV which will be essential viewing.
 
regards,
 
Geoff Chia
 
 

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