In various ways, we are presently contending with the dire
predictions made in a landmark 1972 report commissioned by the Club of Rome, The Limits of Growth. Those warnings
about Earth’s limited carrying-capacity are now being manifested as the
collapse of ecosystems and a human-induced global climate crisis.
Unfortunately, the corporate culture and rise of neo-nationalistic authoritarian governments under corporate domination have responded to those limits by doubling-down on many of the reckless policies and practices that hastened our global predicaments.
Such activities are driven by the self-destructive commodification of nature, treating natural systems as both a waste receptacle and a source of supplies to be profitably and shamelessly exploited in satisfying stockholders.
By ignoring the fundamental dependence of human needs on healthy, functioning ecosystems, the corporate mindset, blinded by obsession with short-term profits, is cumulatively taking our civilization to the brink of catastrophe.
Decision-makers should be objectively re-evaluating the prospects of human health, food supplies, and economic stability in a world of deteriorating life-support systems. Instead, many corporate-obligated leaders – public and private – are trivializing threats such as rampant species extinctions, and blaming chronic economic problems, including worsening income inequality, on diversionary targets like immigration.
Whatever the ethical issues raised by political maneuvers supporting these deceptions, one truth certainly can’t be reconciled by schemes to uphold the status quo: humanity faces grim consequences unless policies advancing environmental and economic sustainability are rapidly implemented.
Earth’s physical and biological realities cannot be altered by the obsolete doctrine of unfettered production and consumption.
~ David Kyler is director of the St. Simons-based Center for a Sustainable Coast