Overshooting Our Planet’s Resources

The ECOreport interviewed Greenpeace co-founder Rex Wyler about the role hydrocarbons have had in our civilization, climate change and how humanity is overshooting our planet’s resources. 

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMRex Wyler spoke of a wolf pack that found a valley full of deer. Initially, they flourished and grew plentiful. Only they were too successful. They eventually ate all the deer and there was no food left for the wolves. Humanity is in a similar situation, overshooting our planet’s resources.


Overshooting Our Planet’s Resources

Harvesting Soybeans by United Soybean Board via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)
Harvesting Soybeans by United Soybean Board via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

Our modern agricultural system is built around tractors, trucks and other machinery that uses oil.

Only the planet’s good cheap high net energy oil is gone. There are still some wells that give reasonable returns, but we are increasingly turning to dirtier sources like the oil sands and fracking.

Then there is the onset of climate change and the necessity of leaving that oil in the ground.

The Aftermath of Paris

It is only months since World leaders met in Paris. They “agreed” to keep the rise of global temperatures, since pre-industrial times, to at least 2 degrees celsius (and hopefully 1.5).

Now some climate scientists are saying we are already on the threshold of 1.5 degrees. Is 2 degrees “baked in the cake?” Are we looking at 3 degrees? Or more?

What does the future look like for our industrial civilization? Is there hope for the future of humanity?

Articles/podcasts mentioned in this podcast:

Top Photo Credit: Wolves by Eden, Janine and Jim via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

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