Living Sustainably

2. Where are we today?

© Kai19 | Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2018

Our earth has been radically altered through technology and industrialisation.

Humans, in their behaviour, thinking and hoping, have remained the same

The world's two most urgent problems are still not solved, but solvable: the complete destruction of nuclear weapons and the limitation of climate change. 
Steven Pinker, experimental psychologist. Enlightenment Now. For Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress. 2018

© Razvan Ionut Dragomirescu | Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2019    © Scott Book | Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2019

The human ability to act has far surpassed the ability to understand. As a result civilization is faced with a perfect storm of problems driven by overpopulation, overconsumption by the rich, the use of environmentally malign technologies, and gross inequalities.  
Blue Planet Prize Laureates, Gro Harlem Brundtland and others - Environment and Development Challenges: The Imperative to Act. 2012

We are facing a change that has nothing in common with the usual advances and transformations. This is due to the unintended side effects of technical progress. These have now become central risks that we are fundamentally unable to cope with.  

Ulrich Beck, sociologist. Risk Society - Towards a New Modernity. 1986

The great promise of unlimited progress - the prospect of subjugation of nature, material abundance [..] and of unlimited personal freedom - that is what has sustained the hope and confidence of generations since the beginning of the industrial era. 
Erich Fromm, psychoanalyst and social psychologist. To Have or to Be? The Spiritual Foundations of a New Society. 1976

Living off the fossil fuel deposits of the carboniferous era for more than two centuries gave us a false sense of an open-ended and unlimited future where everything was possible and with little price to pay. [...] We called this era the Age of Progress. Climate Change is now the bill come due. 
Jeremy Rifkin, Economist and Journalist. The Green New Deal. Why the Fossil Fuel Civilisation Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth. 2019

We are speechless and do not know how to overcome it in order to make reality comprehensible, to adequately describe the seriousness of the situation.  
George Marshall, communications specialist. Don't Even Think About It - Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change. 2014

Today, the principle of responsibility must first and foremost be used to slow down, protect, preserve and thus prevent developments that could lead to the demise of humanity.  
Hans Jonas, philosopher. The Imperative of Responsibility. In Search of an Ethics for the Technological Age. 1979

© 3D_creation | Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2019 

We have to set ecological limits on human activities. 

Tim Jackson, economist. Prosperity without Growth - Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow. 2016

Everywhere measures are being taken against the devastation of the habitat; these are far from sufficient, but raise the hope of becoming so soon.  
Konrad Lorenz, biologist and Nobel Price winner. Civilized Man's Eight Deadly Sins. 1973 

Global environmental problems are no longer just about producing more efficiently. In addition, consumption reduction is needed for holistic environmental and social sustainability. It's about individual and collective behavioural change - and about psychology. 

Translated from: Karen Hamann and others, psychologist. Psychologie im Umweltschutz - Handbuch zur Förderung nachhaltigen Handelns. 2016 

© tomertu | Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2018 

Today, we have enough new knowledge to make the necessary changes to preserve our world.  

Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, biologist and Anders Wijkman. Come on!  Capitalism, Short-termism, Population and  the Destruction of the Planet. 2017

Very few people are willing to act for the long term and even fewer understand properly what is needed. [...] Most of the world still has its head in the sand and societies need to act, not hide from the challenge.
Graeme Maxton economist. Change! - Why We Need a Radical Change. 2018

Even if we people in the rich countries are tired of being reminded over and over again that, with the lifestyle we now hold so dear, we are blatantly risking our descendant's chances of enjoying a good life...

... we have an unquestionable responsibility to change our lifestyles now for the sake of our children and grandchildren and all future people.

© Monkey Business Images | Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2018 


Share this website: