As we careen from one crisis to the next and focus on political struggles that seem to rarely produce even short-term solutions, it’s easy to avoid big questions that have no easy answers. Questions such as: What is the sustainable carrying capacity of the planet for Homo Sapiens? Has our human arrogance and assumptions of our cleverness obscured our ability in being able to face and meet the multiple cascading crises? Are we avoiding the evidence of difficult truths at our peril? Is our future one of limitation and, if so, can we face it with courage to do the best job with what is possible? Our guests today lead us into the dragon’s mouth of denial of our comforting illusions regarding the dramatic changes in the world in which we live and explore our collective path in dealing with today’s multiple cascading ecological crises. Jensen and Jackson have come up with four hard questions that demand our attention: What is the sustainable size of the human population? What is the appropriate scale of human social and political organizations? What is the scope of our competence to manage all this technology? And finally, what is the speed at which we must move to create a sustainable human presence on the planet? They remind us that even if the solutions to our “hard problems” are not readily available, that doesn’t mean that asking the questions are irrelevant.
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