November 14th, 2011
“Infinite growth of material consumption in a finite world is an impossibility” E.F. Schumacher
The environmental crisis of our time is accelerating at the rate of no return. If human beings do not rapidly enforce sustainable ways of life, humans face the possibility of destroying all life on earth including the human race itself.
The increasing gap between the rich and the poor, spiking food prices, global warming, depletion of our natural resources, and wildlife extinction are all various components consequentially caused by our mass consumption behaviour. A United Nations report indicates that our current rate of consumption will ultimately use the resources of one and a half planets. We are all consuming from one planet – planet Earth – and we are exhausting it.
The population of the world’s people has just reached 7 billion and continues to rise consistently. With that in mind, consumption patterns need to be reduced in order to create sustainability. Canada’s sustainability report says, “Historically, rates of consumption and pollution have been rising faster than population, both in Canada and globally.” Yet the report notes that spending on low carbon energy sources is less than 2% of the lowest required estimates. It is clear that there is much work to be done..
In order to tackle the environmental crisis of our time, it is evident that people need to work collectively to overcome the deterioration of our planet by confronting the main issue of mass consumption. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reports that “Over 53% of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited, and 32% are overexploited, already depleted, or recovering from depletion.” Statistics also show that up to 90% of the ocean’s large fish have already been fished out. Moreover, environmental researchers state that arctic sea ice is melting at a rate of 9% per decade, endangering the habitat and existence of arctic animals. The winter season is being cut short as ice is forming later during the year and melting earlier in the spring.
As a Peterborough community – like all responsible communities – we need to drastically reduce waste, and alter our production and consumption habits, or Canada will have to take major environmental measures with no guarantee of positive results. This means making cautious decisions toward economic growth through environmental degradation reduction, renewable development strategies and sustainable means of survival.
Canadians for Mining Awareness, a working group of the Kawartha World Issues Centre (KWIC), are helping to host a film event featuring the documentary, Gasland, about natural gas extraction. Otherwise known as ‘fracking,’ this resource extraction method has created catastrophic human, animal and environmental damage.
Join us Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 from 6:30-8:50pm, at Sadleir House, George Street Peterborough. $5 or pay what you can to support the Transition Reskilling Institute.