Tikkun Winter 2019 (34.1) - Page 123

Party’s malfeasance or the mainstream Demo- cratic Party’s torpor, is utterly insufficient to respond to the crisis facing our civilization. Trying to fix the current system with a few adjustments—even those proposed by the Green New Deal—risks turning a blind eye to the fundamental drivers propelling civilization toward collapse, and ultimately deflects atten- tion from the profound structural changes that our global economic system must make if we hope to bequeath a flourishing society to future generations. ECOLOGICAL OVERSHOOT That’s because even the climate emergency is merely a harbinger of other existential threats looming over humanity as a result of ecologi- cal overshoot—the fact that we’re depleting the earth’s natural resources at a faster rate than they can be replenished. As long as govern- ment policies emphasize growing GDP as a VOL. 34, NO. 1 national priority, and as long as transnational corporations relentlessly pursue greater share- holder returns by ransacking the earth, we will continue accelerating toward global catastro- phe. Currently, our civilization is running at 40% above its sustainable capacity. We’re rapidly de- pleting the earth’s forests, animals, insects, fish, freshwater, even the topsoil we require to grow our crops. We’ve already transgressed three of the nine planetary boundaries that define humanity’s safe operating space, and yet global GDP is expected to more than double by mid- century, with potentially irreversible and dev- astating consequences. By 2050, it’s estimated, there will be more plastic in the world’s oceans than fish. Last year, over fifteen thousand sci- entists from 184 countries issued an ominous warning to humanity that time is running out: “Soon it will be too late,” they wrote, “to shift course away from our failing trajectory.” © 2019 TIKKUN MAGAZINE 123