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The Conversation #64 — Peter Gleick

We have even in the United States seri­ous and grow­ing water scarci­ty chal­lenges. We have con­t­a­m­i­na­tion prob­lems with chem­i­cals that we have not ade­quate­ly reg­u­lat­ed here in the United States. We have con­flicts between states in the United States about who gets to use what water to do what. We have evi­dence that cli­mate change is already influ­enc­ing water demand, affect­ing water avail­abil­i­ty, chang­ing extreme events. There are a whole suite of water‐related prob­lems, here, unre­lat­ed to these basic human need chal­lenges that’re press­ing in oth­er parts of the world.

The Conversation #44 — John Seager

In 1962, the Food and Drug Administration approved the birth con­trol pill. I would sub­mit that that’s one of the four or five most trans­for­ma­tive tech­no­log­i­cal changes of the last mil­len­ni­um. Not just the last cen­tu­ry. Because for the first time in the his­to­ry of the world, half the peo­ple on Earth no longer have to depend on the oth­er half for the arc of their lives.

The Conversation #18 — David Korten

I like to think that we are an intel­li­gent species. I mean, actu­al­ly the peo­ple that often get this most quick­ly are the peo­ple who are poor­est, because they know the sys­tem doesn’t work. But so many of our sup­pos­ed­ly bright­est peo­ple pick this up and don’t ques­tion it. And then we have the all the whole field of eco­nom­ics, which is an ide­ol­o­gy built on assump­tions that if you exam­ine them are absurd. Because you know, econ­o­mists sim­ply look at the econ­o­my as a pric­ing sys­tem. They’re not sys­tem thinkers. Part of the cause our cri­sis is that we’re not edu­cat­ed to think in terms of sys­tems.

The Conversation #15 — Cameron Whitten

Any time that you lessen lev­els of dis­par­i­ty you’re going to have more progress. And you can’t look at it as an own indi­vid­ual term. Progress in your own life, progress in tech­nol­o­gy. But I believe that you have to look at progress through the con­nec­tion of every­thing. That’s what sus­tain­abil­i­ty is real­ly about. It’s about the rela­tion­ship of our econ­o­my, of social jus­tice, the qual­i­ty of life of peo­ple, and then the last part is the envi­ron­ment.

The Conversation #6 — Jan Lundberg

If we are look­ing at what oil real­ly pro­vides to soci­ety, and what keeps us going for essen­tial ser­vices and goods, then our life sup­port sys­tem is in jeop­ardy. We are not prepar­ing for peak oil. We are not reor­ga­niz­ing our­selves for a degrad­ed ecosys­tem. So we are head­ing head­long into col­lapse, and this is some­thing that is not being dis­cussed. It is taboo to imag­ine that the whole growth scheme some­how comes to an end or that there is some­thing like peak oil that doesn’t trans­late into some tran­si­tion of renew­able ener­gy to make pos­si­ble a green con­sumer soci­ety with this lev­el of pop­u­la­tion.