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Questions That Continue To Bedevil Me

Imagine trying to drive your car from Alice Springs to Melbourne or from Vancouver to Winnipeg on one tank of gas. One passenger, the environmentalist, suggests that by driving at moderate speed, the car will run for more miles per gallon. Another passenger, the techno-optimist, believes that if the car has a tune-up, it will go farther on that tank of gas than if it didn't. The socialist passenger, meanwhile, believes that conflict in the car between the two privileged people in the front and the 5 people jammed in the back could cause you to drive off the road. Guess what. They are all right---the car would probably go further if you followed their advice. One problem. The difference would be marginal. The car would still fall well short of its destination. Living 'smaller', increasing technological efficiency and achieving equality would make but a trivial and short-lived impact on overshoot. To suggest otherwise reflects a serious lack of perspective and scale.

That is our predicament. We won't make it with 7 billion people, and the preoccupation with green living, technological efficiencies and wealth redistribution will not make a dent on overshoot. The focus then, must be on rapid population decline. The fight for sustainability cannot be a war fought on all fronts, but a single-minded determination to remove the first stumbling block to solving all other problems.

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