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ATD V-2 Video #3:

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Given that our purpose is bringing forth an environmentally sustainable spiritually fulfilling, and socially just human presence on this planet the first question to ask is, "Where are we?" In other words, "What kind of world is our modern way of life actually producing?" Answering that question and confronting the realities it reveals may not be comfortable But as we'll see it is an essential first step to revealing what may be the greatest opportunity any generation has ever faced. One place to begin is with the dramatic changes that have occured in human population For thousand of years human population on Earth remained relatively steady. Then, about 200 years ago, at the time industrial revolution human learned to harness the energy of fossil fuels. that allowed agricultural productivity to increase dramatically and human population began to grow exponentially. Since then, we in the modern world have attempted to meet our needs and wants through and ever-expanding of extraction production, consumption and disposal of natural resources The modern industrial system that resulted has made possible great human achievement in many areas but it has also brought about grave and deepening crises the global environment is being significantly degraded and is now threatened by climate disruption. Poverty is increasing and the gap between the rich and poor is widening. And it is apparent that increased material wealth has not produced the personal fulfillment human beings so long for. In addition, the global economic downturn that began in 2008 could be evidence of a system on the verge of breakdown If we look at the record of the last 25 years, we would say that on these counts: economic vigor, in terms of inequality, in terms of poverty, and in terms of sustainability this mode of production has been a failure. How did this happen? Given all the ways economic and sosial progress are measured, why did we not see this coming? Perhaps it's because the way we measure progress doesn't really measure progress at all. Gross domestic product-GDP-is supposed to be a measure of everything puts a value on everything that has been produced in an economy within a year's time. But what that doesn't measure is the fact, that in order to achieve that gross domestic product, there's also a lot of destruction of natural wealth. And one can in fact say that the greater the GDP of a country is, measured conventionally, the more natural wealth either in that place or globally has been destroyed. the current industrial model requires continuous economic growth, but is that growth sustainable? And what do we mean by sustainability anyway? Sustainability is the ability of the current generation to meet its needs, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Since 1972, the United Nations Environment Program has been periodically reporting on the Earth's vital signs. and the conclusion: In every natural domain the Earth is under very severe stress. We're in real dangerous moment in history. Virtually every natural habitat across the planet is being degraded. We have got climate disruption... We've got deforestation of the rain forest and the other forests in the world.. 75% of the world's original forests eliminated We've got soil erosion 30% of the world's arable land lost in 40 years We've got the draining of underground water aquifers, the polluting of our rivers with poisons More than 200 oceanic "dead zones' worldwide We've got the over-fishing of the oceans of the world. We've got the toxic burden in peoples' bodies, the rates of cancer that are going up. These are all big-ticket global ecological issues, and what they are doing is they shredding the fabric of life that basically creates the life support system, the ability of the planet to support our life and future generations. The demand for unlimited growth on a planet with limited resources is clearly unworkable. One place where this is showing up is with the resource that made this whole system possible: oil. Many experts say that oil extraction worldwide is about to reach its peak. Peak Oil is the term they use. The academic researchers who are much more likely to be independent and hard-headed in their analysis outside oil industry believe that peak oil is probably in the area of 2010, 2015, something like that. And after that we begin to see a reduction in the supply, but an acceleration of demand. It is impossible to believe that, that will not happen. It is going to happen. It is clear that the resources of Earth are being used up. The Critical question become: how much and how fast? One useful measurement system is called the Ecological Footprint. The Ecological footprint is an accounting tool, Not for money, but for ecological resources So it compares how much nature we have and how much nature we use. There's only one planet. that's why the line of supply is very, very horizontal. Humanity has been continuously increasing its resource demand to the extent that by the mid-eighties we started to use more than what nature can regenerate. And by 2007, humanity used about 30% more than what nature can renew, so we have neen in global overshoot. Overshoot can be thought of as living off of your credit card. You know, humanity is living off of its ecological credit card. If we use more than nature can keep up with, we actually start to erode the natural capital that our life depends on. Currently, if everyone on Earth lived as North Americans do, We need five Earths. For everyone to live as Europeans do would take three Earths In other regions people are living beyond the capacity of one Earth as well. China and India are presently living just under the 'one earth' level, but given the rapid industrialization and economic growth of both countries, that's sure to change. One of the consequences of our modern way of life is the increasing of the amount of carbon dioxide on the Earth's atmosphere, caused primarily by the burning of fossil fuels. The scientists around the wordl have come together to tell us that climate change is actually happening at a much faster rate than they had first anticipated. The signs of this are the cataclysmic storms, the extremes in weather. The polar ice caps are melting, and it means that the entire ecosystem is in peril. This really isn't about polar bears anymore. At this very moment, the fate of civilization itself hangs in the balance. It turns out that the way we have been calculating the future impact of climate change up to now has been missing a really important piece of the picture It seems we are now dangerously close to the tipping point in the world's climate system. Tipping point means that in the context of climate change, that after certain temperature rise and other impacts on the global ecosystem, certain things change that cannot be moved back. If the glaciers disappear, then they will no longer be able to supply the lakes and the rivers. As they are melting, you have more water around, flooding, and lakes are full. But once they disappear, then that's it there is no more. It is truly a global problem. It's the first time that the world has come together on such an issue and tried to be proactive. Whether we're doing it fast enough, I don't think so. While people are becoming increasingly aware of the effects of climate change, what's not as well-known is the impact we're having on other species. We are in the midst of a mass extinction, but the news has not reached the general public. They are utterly unaware that the sacred and talismanic and heartbreakingly loved companions of ours on this Earth are about to disappear forever. They will not return. African lions are on the absolute verge of extinction. There are only 20,000 left. That's down 90% in the past few decades. Every species and subspecies of tiger on the planet is on the absolute verge of extinction. Elephants are down 90% in the past century. Ninety percent all large fish are gone from the oceans. Scientist, oceanographers were astounded and panicked by what they found. Half of all species of life may be extinct in 50 years and what this means is that we don't have 50 years to solve this problem. We don't have 20 years. We have a decade. Nothing this destructive has happened in 65 million years. Why is that not our central concern? It's overwhelming. No one imagined it could happen. So suddenly we're confronted with this fact, and we don't really know how to respond to it. I think that's beyond most of us because we haven't deepened our hearts in a way that would be, make possible the grief that is wanting to be felt.

Video Details

Duration: 12 minutes and 44 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 1,070
Posted by: pachasherilyn on Feb 8, 2010

ATD V-2 Video #3: "Where Are We? Environmental Sustainability"

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