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September 14, 2004

About time too

According to the PM:

From the start of the industrial revolution more than 200 years ago, developed nations have achieved ever greater prosperity and higher living standards.  But through this period our activities have come to affect our atmosphere, oceans, geology, chemistry and biodiversity. 
What is now plain is that the emission of greenhouse gases, associated with industrialisation and strong economic growth from a world population that has increased sixfold in 200 years, is causing global warming at a rate that began as significant, has become alarming and is simply unsustainable in the long-term.  And by long-term I do not mean centuries ahead.  I mean within the lifetime of my children certainly; and possibly within my own.  And by unsustainable, I do not mean a phenomenon causing problems of adjustment.  I mean a challenge so far-reaching in its impact and irreversible in its destructive power, that it alters radically human existence.

Very true. In fact, Tony Blair, in his speech to the Prince of Wales Business & the Environment Programme today, neatly outlines the core challenge about time and sustainable development. This is of particular interest as I'm currently editing a book on the topic and have been pondering whether my introduction needs some kind of heavy-weight quotation.

Of course, whether my boss (who advises Mr B on sustainable development and who was only recently featured in a Guardian article on population) had anything to do with the 'sixfold in 200 years' line is anyone's guess.

September 14, 2004 in About Time book, Sustainability | Permalink


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