Some facts on sustainable

Suzuki: Our Global Economy is not Sustainable
[Via Informed Comment]

I had the pleasure of hearing biologist David Suzuki lecture at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday night during my recent short trip to Australia. He drew on his recent slight but meaty book, The Legacy: An Elder’s Vision for Our Sustainable Future. I downloaded it and read it on my iPhone via Kindle app on the plane Monday.

The quote that alarmed me most of all was this one:

“A report by the World Wide Fund-UK examined the length of time it takes for nature to replenish renewable resources (trees, fish, soil, etc.) that all humans remove in a year. So long as those resources are restocked in a year or less, that situation should be sustainable indefinitely. The report concluded that it takes 1.3 years to replace what humans exploit in a year, and that deficit has been going on since the 1980s. In other words, rather than living on the biological interest, we are drawing down on our basic natural capital.” – David Suzuki, The Legacy


David Suzuki has been an important voice on this issue. Sustainable Path Foundation sponsored a seminar in 2007 by John Robinson, an advisory board member of the David Suzuki Foundation, that examined Sustainability in Practice and how we might get there. But he showed how far we need to go.

Taking 1.3 out while replacing with 1 means that eventually our sustainability account will be zero. The only thing to wonder about is how many years that will be. In some sectors, like fish, it could be as little as 30 years.

One thought on “Some facts on sustainable

  1. The nasty, mean crack against Juan is totally uncalled for!!!!! Obviously, the man didn’t see or hear about the whole statement that Juan made. It is hard to believe a man who could get Williams so wrong.

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