I'm reading a book that is tying a lot of ideas together. As an environmental science graduate I do wonder when we will see the repercussions of the limits to growth on planet earth. Is it a weird time to be alive? Is it stranger than any other time? Most days it feels pretty weird and sci-fi to me. It's just the usual questions of 'what does it mean to be human?' and 'are humans doing a really bad job?' and 'is there any possibility we will turn this around and start living better?'
I actually do think it's possible, it just depends how bad people want things to get before having to make changes. It looks like people want things to get really, really bad, like 'it really is too late to do anything now bad.' On the other hand I think a massive near spontaneous change is possible where fairly suddenly it becomes very unfashionable to want lots of shiny new things, coupled with people being less passive and more demanding of companies. For example, people succeed in their demands for alternatives to plastic (or use no plastic at all) and the billionaires fund the oceans plastics clean up out of their own pocket, without it coming across as some kind of business opportunity.
Many people in the Western World have a good standard of living but it's all at a cost and as we know, poorer countries bear the brunt of the West living the dream. The idea that less developed countries want to reach western standards of living is I think what we all want, it sounds nice, the prospect that everything will work out and the way humans live will stabilise....and we will live happily ever after. The problem is this isn't what's happening because the rate of exploitation is exceeding the rate at which improvements to living are made and by that I mean things like people going vegan, organic farming, increased awareness of issues.
As we know, we are experimenting with testing the limits to growth of humans on planet earth, it's such a shame we can't find the brakes to slow down. so many beautiful species lost, many we will never know. This is the anthropocene, the age where human impact is so massive it's probably going to be a geological epoch on the Geologic Time Scale of planet earth, people are just deciding the beginning date of the anthropocene. With the sixth mass extinction underway (irrespective of climate change) they better get on with it, they might run out of time. How ironic would that be?