The saint who is Francis’s namesake supposedly lived in sweet harmony with nature. For most of mankind, however, nature has been, and remains, scarcity, disease and natural — note the adjective — disasters. Our flourishing requires affordable, abundant energy for the production of everything from food to pharmaceuticals. Poverty has probably decreased more in the past two centuries than in the preceding three millennia because of industrialization powered by fossil fuels. Only economic growth has ever produced broad amelioration of poverty, and since growth began in the late 18th century, it has depended on such fuels. Matt Ridley, author of “The Rational Optimist,” notes that coal supplanting wood fuel reversed deforestation, and that “fertilizer manufactured with gas halved the amount of land needed to produce a given amount of food.” The capitalist commerce that Francis disdains is the reason the portion of the planet’s population living in “absolute poverty” ($1.25 a day) declined from 53 percent to 17 percent in three decades after 1981. Even in low-income countries, writes economist Indur Goklany, life expectancy increased from between 25 to 30 years in 1900 to 62 years today.
Source : "Pope Francis’s fact-free flamboyance", by G. F. Will, Washington post, September, 18, 2015.
Scarcity : past, present and future.
More ideas :
- Better explain the first DOC : the man with the car may erpresent the North and the necessity to reduce our level of consumption to allow the south to develop, the increase in the standard of living (to define) is not sustainable
- COP 21 => limit the increase in temperatures though a worldwide agreement
- SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPEMENT : stands for meeting the needs of present generations without jeopardizing the ability of futures generations to meet their own needs + the three dimension : economy, environmental, social (to preserve equity). That's why rich countries have to help poor one's to avoid a reduction of their own level of production and consumption.
- Ecological footprint = the area of wilderness needed to assimilate human waste
- disucss the notion of no-renewable ressources = does not renew itself at a sufficient rate for sustainable economic extraction in meaningful human time-frames. An example is carbon-based, organically-derived fuel
- discuss the role of technical progress. According to the trust for technical progress we won't have the same conception of the sustainable development, strong or weak. Strong conception = technical progress is not the magic solution, Weak conception = we can trust the technical progress.
- discuss role of economic alternatives => simple living, degrowth
The definition of affluenza, according to de Graaf, Wann, and Naylor, is something akin to "a painful, contagious, socially-transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more." It's a powerful virus running rampant in our society, infecting our souls, affecting our wallets and financial well-being, and threatening to destroy not only the environment but also our families and communities. They offer historical, political, and socioeconomic reasons that affluenza has taken such strong root in our society, and in the final section, offer practical ideas for change. These use the intriguing stories of those who have already opted for simpler living and who are creatively combating the disease, from making simple habit alterations to taking more in-depth environmental considerations, and from living lightly to managing wealth responsibly.
Analyse the consequences of scarcity