08 Is present human activity on this planet sustainable?

Is the present totality of human activity on this planet - including accelerating trends -sustainable ie could it continue as it is indefinitely?  NO. Most people who have studied the evidence would say that it is quite impossible that the present human activity going on across the planet could continue over a period of more than few decades.  Ofcourse the prediction is even worse when you take into account the acceleration of the destructive processes.

There will always be people who deny this obvious conclusion.   Some say that science will always find new ways for humans to continue on their destructive course.  This is a false understanding of science which should include the possibility of there not being such a possibility.  Others believe that God will always protect humans from themselves which is an unsustainable religeous belief.  So let us study the evidence and face the conclusion that our lifestyles and expectations have to change very much to build a sustainable future for a different and probably happier, healthier human society.

I recommend reading Jared Diamond’s book Collapse - it’s listed alphabetically under title in the BOOKS category.   Of course there are many books that offer the same kind of evidence.

If you do not have the time to read the very detailed examples in the first few chapters you could start at Chapter 9 or even Chapter 16 where he summarises 12 ways in which present human activity is unsustainable.   The most important, of course, in emissions of greenhouse gases but as he says ANY ONE OF THESE 12, if we do not make it sustainable soon will be enough on its own to prevent a sustainable human society.

Jared Diamon’s 12 are:

Destroying natural habitats.

Destroying sources of wild foods eg fish.

Destroying biodiversity.

Destroying soils.

Wasting non-renewable resources eg coal, oil.

Destroying the systems of freshwater supply.

Approaching 50% of the earth’s photosynthesis capacity.

Chemical pollution eg by heavy metals.

Spreading ‘alien’ species that break down existing agricultural systems.

Emitting greenhouse gases which change the climate and may tip the planet into a very different state.

Population growth requiring ever more basic resources.

Ever increasing expectations that people will consumer, waste and pollute more and more.

If you want more on the questions use the BOOKS category - ‘We Are The Weather Makers’ by Flannery is a good summary (alphabetically under title) and the WEBSITES category is the most sophisticated.