Endless growth ‘an absolute biological impossibility’

Dear editor,

I have been reading with dismay but not surprise, the ads from the so-called Comox Valley Common Sense.

Dear editor,

I have been reading with dismay but not surprise, the ads from the so-called Comox Valley Common Sense.

What they promote is far from common sense. Here’s some real common sense to consider:  Human numbers have just passed the seven billion mark and are still increasing exponentially, making humans the most dominant and destructive species on the planet.

Our enormous ecological footprint is stressing the physical, biological and chemical cycles of the earth and driving more than 50,000 unique and irreplaceable species to extinction every year.

We have fragmented or cleared most of the planet’s vast forests in just a few decades. These are the forests responsible for creating the oxygen we breathe, absorbing the carbon dioxide we produce, and for regulating our climate, controlling floods, and creating our global weather patterns. They are the fountains from which biodiversity springs and they are being liquidated at an astounding rate.

Our oceans have been dumping grounds for decades, receiving toxic industrial waste, nuclear waste, pesticides and are now increasingly the victims of our greed for oil and gas.

Estuaries, the nurseries of the sea for fish, birds, and all sea life, are all too often being covered by yet another catastrophic oil spill. Our acidifying oceans now contain enormous islands of plastic several kilometres across, and vast dead zones in which nothing can live.

As stocks of large oceanic fishes plummet, our global fishing industries soldier on, strip-mining what is left in the oceans and we will likely see the demise of the great tunas and salmonids in our lifetime, followed by the complete collapse of oceanic foodwebs.

Major rivers and streams all over the world, the lifeblood of the land, are being polluted to the point where the water is no longer potable. Vast fresh-water aquifers are being pumped full of chemicals in an absurd quest to power our televisions and toaster ovens. Birds, bees and amphibians are disappearing.

World food prices are rising, as more and more countries divert their grain harvests to the production of ethanol to feed cars, rather than mouths.

All of this is occurring because of our insistence on clinging to an untenable idea: a human-created economic system based on the idea of endless growth, an absolute biological impossibility. Leading scientists all over the world agree: our relentless pursuit of growth is a suicidal quest.

Political leaders need to face the coming downturn in oil and shortages of food and water, and begin to plan for these certainties.

We cannot continue to grow. We must not continue to grow. We will not continue to grow. We need a new vision. We need new visionaries. We need to pull our ostrich-like heads out of the sand and rediscover common sense, before it is too late.

Kerry Dawson,