Search Results: A Plan for the Nations

Dodging Extinction

Power, Food, Money and the Future of Life on Earth Paleobiologist Anthony D. Barnosky weaves together evidence from the deep past and the present to alert us to the looming Sixth Mass Extinction and to offer a practical, hopeful plan for avoiding it. Writing from the front lines of extinction research, Barnosky tells the overarching […]

Economists’ Growth Insanity

 Virtually every economist rejects the concept of limiting growth – by which they normally mean growth in GDP.  As Larry Summers, famous as a major cause of the recent U.S. financial disaster, once stated, “The idea that we should put limits on growth because of some natural limit is a profound error, and one that, were […]

How Should We Look at the Chances of Climate Catastrophe?

Is it ironic or predictable that Harvard’s President, Drew Faust, would enter into a Faustian bargain over climate change and the University’s investments in carbon-intensive companies? Let’s suppose that, by pure chance, it turns out that there is a 90% probability that the climate denier campaign paid for or organized by those companies is correct […]

Scientists: Are we all the same?

Science is defined simply as discovery, explanation and presentation (see my earlier post entitled Science explained), but what exactly are scientists? What’s their connection to Science? How important are they? Scientists all have a direct connection with science, but may be categorised on the basis of whether they carry out scientific research, and thus develop […]

British birth rate leaps by 18% in a decade

British women are having significantly more children than a decade ago, with birth rates for mothers in England and Wales up by 18 per cent, official figures show. Improvements in fertility treatments allowing people to start families later and a growing population of second generation migrants are amongst possible explanations for the rise.

Humanity’s Gamble (II)

Our apparently robust civilization is facing a prospect of global breakdown as major support systems begin to crumble.  Locked into a centuries-long course of growth and expansion, humanity has taken over the planet’s land surface and assaulted the oceans, denying more and more living space and resources to other life-forms.  Natural resources needed to support […]

Moral Negligence

 Do Canada’s stance on climate change and the nation’s current economic development plan constitute moral negligence? It was several days before media reports and commentary on the havoc caused by typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines finally began to acknowledge a possible connection to anthropogenic climate change. While no single hyper-storm can be positively attributed to human […]

Global Dash of Folly

Individuals have been raising alarm about the impacts of humanity on its life-support systems as far back as George Perkins Marsh in the 1800s and even Plato BCE.  But the scientific community only began to give organized voice to environmental concerns in the United States in the late 1960s with the National Academy of Sciences […]

Population and “Natural” Disasters

Think of all the “natural disasters” with which we’re afflicted: tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, storm surges, hurricanes, cyclones, and so on.  And note that the impacts of such events are almost always worse if the human population affected is large.  Typhoon Haiyan’s severity in 2013 was likely population related because the huge population of Homo sapiens […]

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