Sustainability and Resource Depletion – Richard Heinberg video

(Text taken from Global Public Media website)

“Richard Heinberg identifies the essential axioms of sustainability and ties them to current economic trends such as the high and volatile prices of oil and other commodities. Species survival will require more than ‘Sustainability Lite,’ a vague commitment to more environmentally benign practices, but instead an all-encompassing effort to live within the ultimate resource limits of the planet.”

This hour-long video of Richard Heinberg talking on Oct 2nd this year is well worth watching.  In the video, Heinberg talks about the ‘Five Axioms of Sustainability’:

  1. A society that continues to use resources unsustainably will collapse
  2. Population growth and/or growth in rates of consumption of resources cannot be sustained
  3. To be sustainable, the use of renewable resources must proceed at a rate that is less than or equal to that of natural replenishment
  4. To be sustainable, the use of non-renewable resources must be declining at a rate greater than or equal to the rate of depletion
  5. Sustainability requires that substances introduced into the environment from human activities be minimized and rendered harlmess to biosphere functions

In summing up he says:

1) Sustainability is not optional
2) New paradigm for success: us less!
3) Local sourcing of materials beats global sourcing
4) Look for fossil fuel imputs and reduce them continually
5) The 21st century will be very different from the 20th

One of the most telling quotes of the presentation is:

Depletion and decline mean the transition cannot be avoided our choice is whether to undertake it proactively

This is exactly what Transition Ely is all about, startng the transition process ourselves before Nature forces us to…and the latter wouldn’t be pretty.

Watch the video:


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