But humans are part of nature, and like every other species on the planet, we depend upon healthy ecosystems for survival. Nature provides essentials like clean water, food and medicines, and intact ecosystems also help regulate our weather and climate. Quite simply, we use nature because it’s valuable but lose it because it’s free.
Planet's Breaking PointHowever, we've reached the point where our hunger for more of everything has pushed our planet to breaking point. Our demand on natural resources has doubled since 1966 and we’re using the equivalent of 1.5 planets to support our activities.
If we continue living beyond the Earth’s limits, by 2030 we’ll need the equivalent of 2 planets’ productive capacity to meet our annual demands.
How can we sustain all life?This decade presents many challenges to humanity. Not the least of which is how the Earth will sustain a human population of nine billion people or more in 2050, and at the same time support millions of other species with which we share the planet.
- We'll need to find new sources of energy to power our lives without endangering the Earth.
- We'll need to learn to balance the convenience of consumption with the wisdom of valuing and investing in our natural capital.
- We'll need to develop ways of doing much more with our planet's limited supply of fresh water
- We’ll need to make some radical choices about how we feed ourselves.
- We'll need to do all of this with a changing climate and a growing population — and with the one, amazing planet we've had all along.
But a sustainable future is not just some distant aspiration.
Humans are travellers, and many future makers have, and are, asking the traveller’s question - where do we want to go?