Item Link: Access the Resource
Media Type: News / Op - Ed
Date of Publication: August 11, 2018
Year of Publication: 2018
Publication City: New York City
Publisher: The New York Times
Author(s): Erle C. Ellis
Newspaper: The New York Times
We need to start talking about what kind of planet we want to live on.
This planet is in crisis. The safe limits within which human societies can be sustained, the earth’s “planetary boundaries,” are being exceeded, a path leading inevitably toward collapse. The experts have spoken. Only if humanity heeds the science, reverses course and lives within earth’s natural limits can disaster be avoided.
Or maybe you believe the opposite: that human ingenuity can continue to overcome those limits, that there is no need for environmental concern.
Both miss the point. In the age of humans, the Anthropocene, there is no safety in natural limits. Or in overcoming them. For those reasons, we should put the idea of limits off limits.
The question is not whether two degrees of warming is riskier than 1.5 degrees (of course it is), or whether we are using, as some claim, more than one earth’s worth of resources per year (of course not), or how many extinctions per year are sustainable without a collapse of human societies (why allow any at all?). The real question is how we better negotiate among ourselves, across all our many diverse peoples and cultures, so that we can navigate together toward the better futures we wish for, in our different ways.
The full article may be found here.