We need a new system. A system that is life-affirming and sustainable. Sustainable means that we’re not creating an environmental disaster, especially when expanding the system to everyone on Earth (as would be the case, for example, if everybody in the world would live at the living standard in the U.S.). Life-affirming means that we’d improve all creatures’ lives as much as we can. I am not quite sure how this system would look like but it certainly would have to do away with our (Western) addiction to growth. There’s just nowhere to grow to anymore! Another essential part of this system (or worldview or way of living) would be a limit to world population. The world population has increased dramatically in the last century and a half. This is a reflection of increased standards of living – less children die and people live longer – and withholding of birth control. There are already guidelines on how to control world population, though they’d probably need updating since we probably need to reduce the population to a sustainable level.
If we don’t shift gears, I am not too optimistic about our future (others are also sounding the alarm). I sense that we’re on a train racing ahead under the banner of growth pretending that the canyon up ahead is not there. Business as usual. Heads firmly in the sand.