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Hack, Brian, 1998. Working Toward Sustainable Development.
University of Waterloo, Environmental Studies.
As top down capitalism adapts to change in creative ways to protect profits and influence outcomes, it also creates ways economic risks increase with climate change to the extent that extinction events become more likely. [2023/BH]
The power of the individual to shape the course of history may be one of the most underdeveloped of all natural resources. It is only by the agreement of individuals that the complex relations between government, business, and people have produced the benefits of a developed, multicultural society.
Credit for achievements must also include responsibility for failures like environmental problems. Although discussions and programs to clean up or avoid environmental decline are underway, the extent of individual power is yet to be applied. By taking a closer look at what is going on and being done, clues how individual power can be used to help may be revealed.
Population growth increases demand for goods and services and is a major driving force behind economic development. The result increases pressure on natural systems and resources. While the economy continues to expand, the ecosystem on which it depends does not. Furthermore, there are natural indicators that show damage.
For example, “Forests are shrinking, water tables are falling, soils are eroding, wetlands are disappearing, fisheries are collapsing, range lands are deteriorating, rivers are running dry, temperatures are rising, coral reefs are dying, and plant and animal species are disappearing”1 and waste that does not break down is accumulating. These natural indicators help to identify thresholds for sustainable yields and mark loss or de-materialization of natural resources.
In other words, natural indicators monitor the carrying capacity of Earth and the impact of economic development on natural resources and ecosystems.
Regardless of cause, the threshold of deterioration or collapse of natural systems has been reached. Individual power must now be called upon and applied to help work toward sustainable development. With an increase in understanding of relations between economics and nature, individual power grows.
A primary industrial military complex goal is to grow and protect their interests. As the capitalist agenda increases toxic waste from production of needless commodities, tonnes of greenhouse gasses continue to be pumped into the air. Other types of harmful waste are disposed in ecological locations and in the most "economical" and unsustainable ways.
- It does not matter if you side with capitalists or survivalists. In both cases, people, not companies are the solution to climate chaos. We know this because that's what science demands. Business as usual is a recipe for extinction. So is a slow and steady approach.
- There is no shortage of exciting, visionary ideas for a better, more just world. The current revolution must be inclusive of all ideologies because, if business as usual is a recipe for extinction, then an all for one and one for all is the only way we can survive.
- The power of the individual to shape the course of history may be one of the most underdeveloped of all natural resources. It is only by the agreement of individuals that the complex relations between government, business, and people have produced the benefits of a developed, multicultural society.