The history of our planet & its delicately balanced ecosystems has been billions of years in the making, yet in only a matter of decades, we have pushed Earth (& many of its animal & plant species) almost to the point of no return.
Over the last two centuries, the global economy has experienced prolonged & sustained growth. Over that same period, this process of economic growth has been accompanied by even faster growth in global commerce.
The integration of capitalist economies into a global economic system has been one of the most important & significant developments of the last century, with globalization resulting in remarkable growth in trade with exports now 40+ times larger than in 1913.
However, this explosion of growth has had serious implications for the natural world. One million species out of 8m on earth are now threatened with extinction & since 1970, vertebrate populations (birds, mammals, amphibians & reptiles) have declined by 60%. While extinction is a natural process, it is the current rapid rate, accelerated by human activity, that is the problem.
Earth Day 2022 marks an important date to continue the discussions started at COP26 last year & consider the impact unchecked capitalism, globalization & consumerism is having on our planet every day, not simply on the 22nd April.
Accelerated by the proliferation of the internet, the dot com boom & more recently, 3G, 4G & 5G & smartphones, technology has transformed the way we consume goods & services. Unfortunately, the relentless march of consumerism has gone (mostly) unchecked & has undoubtedly exacerbated the climate crisis we are facing today.
Consider this: today, someone in California can buy apples grown in New Zealand & have them delivered to their front door within 15 minutes (in some cities) of a click of an app or a command to a voice assistant like Alexa or Siri.
The question we all need to…