Paul Gilding: The Earth Is Full
Paul Gilding on The TED channel says “The earth is full”. That we have run out of……..nearly everything. That growth is unsustainable. And when we can no longer grow, civilization collapses.
People say we need this, that growth is essential to the survival of our civilization. It’s so central that the idea itself is never questioned. Gilding is fascinated by argument that “We can bend the rules of physics to suit our needs.” In the face of the possibility that unrestrained growth will strain resources to exhaustion, people claim that without growth the world is in trouble, therefore everything will be fine.
But the truth is, ”The planet doesn’t care what we need. Mother nature doesn’t negotiate.” These are not esoteric limits, they’re about food and water and basic needs. The idea that we can transition smoothly, that growth and economics as we know them will innovate the problems away, that we can gently move to a system at 100% of the Earth’s capacity is, says Gilding, a delusion. The idea that we’ll heed the warnings would make sense, but we’ve had 50 years of warnings, and what has happened? Last year there were more carbon emissions than ever in history. We know that the eventual cost will be cheaper the earlier we act, and yet we’ve never acted, “We’re not even slowing down.”
So here is his talk
And as he says we need to act like we have only one planet. Because that is all we have.