Category Archives: Environment

>What is a sustainable global population? How many people can we sustain?

>”The biggest single challenge facing the Earth…is not global warming. That is a secondary challenge. The primary challenge facing our species is the reproduction of our species itself.”

Boris Johnson, The Telegraph

These are the forecasts for population growth up until 2050. The world’s population growth rate peaked in the early 1970s. The global population doubled from 3 billion in the 1960s to 6 billion in mid-1999, and continues to rise — but at a slower rate. The question is where on that chart above should we draw a line, saying ‘population must not exceed!’?

>Are we at odds with nature?

>The dictionary defines ‘natural’ as those things that haven’t been altered by mankind. But what are we if not natural? Were we created in a different way to all other life?

But then if we are natural then how is it that we can seem to have different goals to nature? There strikes me as an odd similarity between nature and a hunter-gatherer society. Both house acts we would consider primitive and barbaric. If you look at the average murder rate for those tribes in the Amazon you’ll find that in comparison to more ‘civilised countries’ those tribes look very violent indeed. At the same time evolution seems very cruel, as does the circle of life. In both cases we (humanity) seem to be pitying them while in the process of wiping them out.

So are something ‘other’ than nature? Can we be at odds with it?

>"The toxic memo"

>In 1992 a memo signed by Larry Summers (President Barrack Obama’s top economic adviser) signed a memo saying that “The economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable.” The memo said that there would be mutual benefits: one country would get rid of its waste and the other would be paid.

What do you think?

>Catastrophe looms, and the solution has to be bigger than Live Aid.

>Do you remember the crisis in East Africa that prompted Live Aid? Live Aid brought tremendous benefits. But it was only ever going to be a temporary solution. Now we are faced with a problem even worse than before.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says famine is going to be worse than ever! And where does the famine strike? Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and the Central Africal Republic.

What do you think should be done? Is this the world’s problem? Africa’s problem? Or just East Africa’s problem?