Wednesday, June 15, 2022
#166 / Overshoot
Pictured above is William E. Rees, who is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia. Rees is the former director of the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) at UBC. Rees taught at the University of British Columbia from 1969–70 until his retirement in 2011–12, but has since continued his writing and research. Rees' primary interest is in public policy and planning relating to global environmental trends and the ecological conditions for sustainable socioeconomic development. He is the originator of the "ecological footprint" concept.
Below, you will find a video presentation that Rees made during a climate action conference held in Montréal, Canada, during May and June, 2021. The title of Rees' talk was "The Enigma of Climate Inaction – On the Human Nature of Policy Failure."
I watched this video presentation right straight through (not something I usually do), and I commend it to you. The presentation is almost exactly one hour long.
I am not sure that Rees is going to tell you anything that you don't already know, but I found that Rees was exceptionally clear about our current predicament, and that he didn't pull any punches. Rees disposes of the idea that we can "engineer" our way out of the climate catastrophe to come, and he convincingly demonstrates that we face not simply a "climate crisis," but a much broader "ecological crisis," and that "green economic growth" is not going to solve our problems.
Those who have read my blog postings about the "Two World Hypothesis," might hear echoes of my own thinking in what Rees has to say. He makes very clear that we tend to think, because we have such fantastic abilities, that there are really "no limits" to what human beings can do. In fact, he says, we are ultimately dependent on the Natural World, and that world is a "limited" one. We are misleading ourselves when we fail to recognize this fact.
"Overshoot" is what Rees calls it.
I think what Rees has to say is important. I am making it easy for you to click the link, and to hear Rees for yourself.