The End of Growth

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There has never been something that is so critical to understand and as important as the topics in this video. We discuss the life works of brilliant minds such as MIT fellows Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, William W. Behrens III, but also Richard Heinberg, Dr Albert Bartlett, and others.

The End of Growth.

The fundamental thing this video tries to highlight is the disparity between global systems which assume constant growth is possible and the reality that we live on a finite planet. It doesn’t matter if the growth rate of something is 0.01% per year, if it NEVER goes below zero (or if the long term average is above zero), then it is fundamentally unsustainable. This is not an opinion piece. This is simply reality.

One question that may pop up is “doesn’t growth rate matter?”. It does, but it also doesn’t. It does because it buys us time to find solutions. It doesn’t, because it won’t address the root cause of the problem – that no matter what we will still outstrip the planet if we don’t stabilize. It doesn’t matter if we “approach” stability. We must HIT stability. And that stable endpoint MUST be beneath the carrying capacity of whatever we are discussing: landspace, energy, resources, etc.

And if we overshoot any of these limits (and we often don’t know where they are), then there are things that get triggered in order to keep us within them. These things are war, disease, famine, drought, starvation.

To understand why, we look at the “infinity argument” and if that is possible or not. For example, assuming only 1 planet (for now ignore the ability to spread into space), and lets look at population growth. If human population keeps increasing, then we have humans packed so densely that each human has 1 square foot of space on the earth. We can build skyscrapers, but that only buys us more time – if we keep growing, then we have skyscrapers every sq ft, zero other land use, and we use the entirety of the worlds resources building them. We still hit THAT limit.

So if we KNOW that we cannot go infinite, then AT SOME POINT, it is guaranteed that SOMETHING will happen to prevent it. These manifest in the real world as starvation, disease, wars over resources, etc.

If we continue ignoring the hard questions, and refuse to stop living unsustainable lives, then this is the endpoint. Because it has to be.

That doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless. What is DOES mean, is that we need to stop being mad when we are told we are living unsustainable lives, and we need to start DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT. I’m talking in CAPS because it’s that important. It’s the future of humanity. It’s our childrens future. We’ve ignored it, collectively, for generations. The MIT study came out in the early 70s, and we’ve only continued to INCREASE the rate of our consumption since then.

Our kids deserve better. We CAN stop it. Us. Everyone reading/watching this right now. We can stop this. We need to wake everyone we know up. And we need to get started.


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Music credits:

Epidemic sound:

Closer by Jay Someday |
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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

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