The gains achieved by the reengineering of the planet have not been without costs, and as we enter the twenty-first century these costs are mounting rapidly. It is now widely apparent that humanity’s use of the biosphere is not sustainable. Human-induced climate change is the best-known environmental threat but it is just one of a long list of challenges that already take a severe toll on people and the planet. Some 10 to 20 percent of dryland ecosystems are degraded and unable to meet the needs of people living in them; most marine fisheries are either on the verge of overharvesting or have already collapsed; billions of people face problems of water scarcity and poor water quality; and more than half of the world’s ecosystem services (such as benefits ecosystems provide by purifying water, protecting coasts from storms, or helping to lessen the magnitude of floods) have been degraded. What has gone wrong, and how can it be fixed? Without doubt, a part of the problem is that the human species is living beyond its means on a planet with finite resources: demand is out of balance with supply. Unless we use resources far more efficiently (and produce much less pollution) we will continue to erode the resource base on which our survival ultimately depends.
Director at Learning Change Project – Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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