“We are emitting more greenhouse gas than is absorbed by the oceans and the forests”

Do we really care about the state of nature?

by R. McGuire (Bells Design). Free of copyright restrictions.

Do we really care about the state of nature?

We know climate change is anthropogenic (human-made). Actually, the situation is very urgent. We need to act immediately! Jørgen Randers has warned us already in 1972, when The Limits to Growth was published. The question to ask us is: Why is so little being done to prevent the overshooting of our ecosystem?




The weight of the world lies on our shoulders ..so what?

As the Norwegian professor of climate strategy Jørgen Randers points out, we are overshooting:
„We know we are 30 percent above carrying capacity, and the easiest way to see this is greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere is accumulating, which means we are emitting more greenhouse gas than is absorbed by the oceans and the forests…so we have now overshot“

The necessity to stop the aggravation of the anthropogenic greenhouse effect is more urgent now than in 1972. In several studies scientists predict unanimously a global warming of four Kelvin compared to the pre-industrial era. Scientific research clearly shows that we DO have the technology and knowledge to hold the rise of the average global temperature likely below two Kelvin.

Why did rational thinking not help us to tackle the obvious problems?

The co-author of Limits to Growth also warns us: „One must be very careful in not postponing action when problems start to emerge“.

We are about to destroy the climate and food systems of our planet at breakneck speed. Problems are visible and obvious. Though we know which problems are likely to occur, we are not reacting. Instead we are waiting – for what? – and ignoring needs. Thus, we will have to deal with the consequences. The main message and concern of the book Limits to Growth has been misunderstood. On a final earth with rapid consumption of resources you need to act as quickly as possible and should not postpone action.

The warnings make us listen attentively: „There are two ways out of overshooting. Either an organised retraction down to sustainable levels or a nature induced collapse to those levels.“
The future is a choice of different options in the present age. So we can either plan how to tackle climate change, develop de-growth strategies and evolve to a post fossil-fuel economy. Or: we just ignore the overshooting, until nature can’t handle it anymore. Delays in decision making would cause large damages.

However, the behaviours of human beings are not mainly based on facts, rational thinking and “knowledge”. Actually, our socialisation determines our opinions and values. Culture is a collective value. It is coined by all members of the society, as individual values are transformed into values of the society. This happens in a process within different groups, each reaching a broad agreement on what is important for them today and in the near future. Finding ways to preserve biodiversity and gradually achieving a sustainable way of life.
Therefore it is helpful to question which sort of knowledge, skills and abilities are beneficial for us all. What enables us to find competent solutions for the challenges we are faced due to the anthropogenic greenhouse effect? What sort of empowerment do we need?


TL;DR: There is no denying the fact. Due to our fossil-fuel-based way of life we are overshooting the carrying capacity of the planet. What sort of knowledge, skills and abilities do we need to find competent solutions for the challenges of the anthropogenic greenhouse effect? 


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