EXCERPT: ADVICE ON RESOURCE USE

By now it is becoming quite clear that if we do not make massive changes in our relationship to the environment - particularly the rate at which we are consuming resources and generating waste - we will very likely create a series of global economic, social, and ecological catastrophes beginning within the next few decades. This is the consensus from reputable sources....

It is hard to know just how bad these catastrophes could get, but one thing is clear. If we keep on with business-as-usual we will go through a cycle that system theorists describe as "overshoot and collapse"....

There is - fortunately - lots of good news here. The necessary changes to avert this collapse are well within our human and technological capacity.... For example, by shifting to proven more-efficient technologies we could greatly reduce our resource use and rate of pollution creation. By changing dietary habits to reduce our consumption of grain-fed livestock, we could expand our effective food supply without putting more pressure on agricultural land....

So why don't we take these steps? Because what makes practical sense and what makes political sense are very different things....

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