It’s simple. If we can’t change our economic system, our number’s up


It’s the great taboo of our age – and the inability to discuss the pursuit of perpetual growth will prove humanity’s undoing


George Monbiot




“The UK oil firm Soco is now hoping to penetrate Africa’s oldest national park, Virunga, in the Democratic Republic of Congo; one of the last strongholds of the mountain gorilla and the okapi, of chimpanzees and forest elephants. In Britain, where a possible 4.4 billion barrels of shale oil has just been identified in the south-east, the government fantasises about turning the leafy suburbs into a new Niger delta. To this end it’s changing the trespass laws to enable drilling without consent and offering lavish bribes to local people. These new reserves solve nothing. They do not end our hunger for resources; they exacerbate it.


The trajectory of compound growth shows that the scouring of the planet has only just begun. As the volume of the global economy expands, everywhere that contains something concentrated, unusual, precious, will be sought out and exploited, its resources extracted and dispersed, the world’s diverse and differentiated marvels reduced to the same grey stubble.”


George has dug up a point that has bothered me for ages.  Seldom do you read about the social impact of global warming.  A good summation is:  wetter places will get wetter, dryer places will get dryer and “hundred year” weather events will become commonplace.  With a globalised food system, it seems inevitable to me that with the present  anthropocentric attitude, most uncultivated open space will be co-opted to feed humans who cannot feed themselves on the land where they now live.  National Parks, regional nature preserves on down to  local green space will be put to the plough as hundreds of thousands of humans migrate to liveable environments.  Pessimistic?  No, just realistic.