Growth economies face a conundrum: how is continued growth possible on a limited planet? At the end of summer 2022, growth economics had created 2700 billionaires, 720 of them in the U.S. And Credit Suisse tells us in their annual Wealth Report that there are now 62.5 million millionaires. Yet, simultaneously, an open letter signed by at least 238 international and local charities from 75 countries reported 345 million people now experience acute hunger and one dies every four seconds from hunger. Ecologi-cally, the wealthier a person, the greater the damage to the planet (and souls?).
Collapse frightens, destroys. Though full of pain, death, and the unimaginable, it’s never been the last word. Five previous mass extinctions have been followed by Earth’s regeneration. Though it took hundreds of thousands of years, Earth’s regeneration of life proved stronger than collapse.
As anxiety and fear intensify around the breakdowns in nature and societies, conversations increase. People wonder: How do we hold civilization together? What fixes work? How can we pay for the massive fixes necessary? What if we’ve passed the tipping point and civilization does collapse? What then?
Population has been largely left out of the equation during the decades-long talk about climate breakdown. Nonetheless, babies keep coming. On November 15, 2022, the human population on Earth will pass 8 billion. It took millennia for human global population to get to 2.3 billion where it was in 1940 when my baby version came along. Since then, humans on Earth have multiplied 3.5 times. Nature’s disasters have kept pace; one million species are predicted by U.N. scientists to go extinct this century.
That’s a huge unraveling of creation’s interdependent life support systems that sustain human life.
From the beginning of civilization about 12,000 years ago (10,000BCE), it has been a choice to leave a previous way of life universally embraced by Homo sapiens. That way of life took shape close to Earth and her cycles. … But around 10,000 BCE some thinking arose that this way of life could be improved.