The Root Problem of the Ecological and Climate Crisis PDF Print E-mail
Contributed by Koichi Paul Nii   
Thursday, 01 October 2009

The root cause of the global ecological and climate crisis is the inefficient occupation of limited land by humans.  This must be acknowledged for the solutions that reverse the present crisis are to be realized.  The currently recognized problems are mere branches of the basic problem.  The solutions to these problems only arrest or reduce the rate of destruction.

 

The developments and researches into alternative and new products that are “green” in all endeavors are commendable.  However the universal applications of them are meeting obstacles because of cost, quantity and resistance.  Even if the obstacles are overcome, the damages done to earth will not reverse.  Application of all the available and coming products may reduce the rate of damages.  They will not reverse the destructive process because the root of the problems is not being attacked.  In fact, the root of the problems is not presently acknowledged.  People are aware of the conditions but they hesitate to see it as the main problem.  This may be because of the thoughts of needing to sacrifice the “quality of life” standard, because search for alternative means is not lucrative, because solution is unknown or not recognized in the mainstream or because existence of the empty lands.

 

The current focus of “green product” is to resolve the global climate crisis.  Assume the crisis is resolved.  The ecological crisis still remains.  The population continues to increase.  More land is needed for food production.  There already exist conflicts between land for food and for structures.  In fact there is a published article that proposes to have food produced in a high rise structure in the urban core.  The number of endangered species continues to grow.  In short, there is not enough land for all life to coexist harmoniously.  How many species have become extinct because of humans?  How many more are on the verge of complete disappearance?   The mere fact that these questions are poised is proof that humans are occupying too much land.  The unoccupied land must remain untouched by the humans.  In fact, much of the occupied land needs to be unoccupied and returned to nature in order to begin reversing the global ecological and climate crisis.  This must be accomplished at a times when more land are needed due to the population growth, the demands for food and for shelters, and the desire for improvement in the “quality of life” standard.  Continuing with the thousands of years old expansion practice into unoccupied land will not reverse the climate crisis.

 

Two most inefficient utilization of land are suburban developments and agricultural expansion.  These are two dimensional growths.  Beside the land needed for the purpose, they require supporting infrastructure such as networks of roads, stores and factories.  These require more lands.  These growths continue to expand into unoccupied land areas at an alarming rate.  As long as human population continues to increase, more lands are needed.  And so long as the human occupation of land continues in two dimensional expansions, global ecological and climate crisis will worsen.  A three dimensional growths occupies natural land efficiently and improves the “quality of life” standards.  Sensible natural land usage occurs when the problem of inefficient occupation of land is acknowledged.

 


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