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Rex Weyler: Why is the political process so slow to respond to our ecological crisis?

Rex Weyler: Why is the political process so slow to respond to our ecological crisis?

Preface.  Rex Weyler is one of the co-founders of Greenpeace in Canada, a brilliant ecologist and journalist, and more. His blog is here: https://www.rexweyler.ca/greenpeace

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Rex Wyler. September 2021. Ecological crisis: Might as well speak the truth

Why is the political process — worldwide — so slow in responding appropriately to our ecological crisis?

We may point out that most political processes are hobbled by corruption, self-interest, and bureaucratic incompetence. However, there may be a deeper reason, connected to how the status quo protects itself, not just against foreign aggressors, but against dissident ideas that threaten its accepted narrative.

Regarding our ecological problems, the popular narrative of most societies and governments today is that we have a “climate problem,” which can be solved with “renewable technologies” such as windmills, carbon capture, and efficient batteries.

However, global heating is a symptom of a much larger, more fundamental ecological crisis articulated by William Rees, the Limits to Growth study, the Post-Carbon Institute  and other ecologically aware observers. Humanity’s urgent and primary challenge is what ecologists call “overshoot,” the predicament of any species that grows beyond the capacity of its environment. Wolves overshoot the prey in their watershed, algae overshoot the nutrient capacity of a lake, and humanity has overshot the entire capacity of Earth. Global heating, the biodiversity crisis, depleted soils, and disappearing forests are all symptoms of ecological overshoot.

All paths out of overshoot (genuine solutions) involve a contraction of the species and a decline of material/energy throughput. There are no exceptions.

Furthermore, the contraction of humanity is inevitable, so all genuine options exist within this framework, whether we respond appropriately or not…

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