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Is human society in denial regarding the tough questions about sustainability?

Keywords: Denial , Sustainability , Resource allocation , Depletion of natural capital , Memes , Eco-ethics

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Abstract:

The news media report daily on unsustainable practices and events that impede progress toward sustainable use of the planet - production of greenhouse gases, biotic impoverishment, depletion of fossil waters (aquifers), human population growth, production of persistent toxic substances, loss of agricultural topsoil and land, rapid loss of old growth forests, and so on. Exponential economic growth both depletes natural capital more rapidly than it is regenerated and also gives an illusion of sustainable prosperity. Failure to act more expeditiously is almost certainly due to a number of factors; however, denial that a problem exists is, arguably, one of the most likely reasons. Just as an alcoholic or drug addict must first acknowledge that a problem exists before successful treatment is possible, so must those addicted to exponential growth on a finite planet.

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