What happens when an infinite growth economy runs into a finite planet?

June 20, 2012

I borrowed my blog title from the Ecological Footprint Network's 2011 Annual Report.  I hope they don't mind...

I'm working on a "Sustainability 101" presentation for the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management's Accelerator Program and naturally turned to Mathis Wackernagel and the Ecological Footprint Network.  I firmly believe that we all need to turn to the best that science has to offer when we step back to the "101 approach" and truly understand the predicament that we all face -- the global supply and demand issue known as Overshoot.   If you read one report this year, please take my advice and read this one.

I'm also leaning on the great Carl Safina's latest work "A View from Lazy Point".  Safina tells a twelve month tale of "a natural year in an unnatural world".  He focuses on a year of observing nature to weave in his lessons of caution for the global issues we face.  An overarching theme or point is on how philosophy, religion, and economics were all developed before we knew that our planet was round and are so out of sync with today's scientific realities that they’re essentially irrational.

Sustainability consulting -- the version that I conduct -- is rooted in the best of science and it is a continual learning process.  It is also rooted in the questioning of assumptions, including the ones that are just plain "unquestionable".  In other words, seeking out the previously rational to find the currently irrational...and making the appropriate strategic changes.

A humble thank you to visionaries like Mathis and Carl and the great work that they do.  You truly inspire me and give me hope.
Jeff Gowdy




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