Alfred Nobel endowed the Peace Prize to recognize the efforts of individuals and organizations that alleviate oppression, suffering, and conflict. The award of a Peace Prize that would help avoid and prevent such afflictions would be the ultimate fulfillment of his intentions.
Today humanity faces widely recognized threats to present and future peace and stability in the form of ecological stress and possible collapse in general and climate change in particular. The cause of these threats is ultimately the unsustainable manner in which human civilization has evolved, including our wasteful consumerist lifestyle continually lauded in the media as the norm. We are on track for unfathomable suffering from hunger, starvation, disease, and warfare over all kinds of resources, including food and fresh water.
Our disregard for planetary limits, dwindling natural resources and the ecosphere’s capacity to absorb our wastes, will seal our fate and climate change will soon put us outside of the climatic bounds under which life as we know it evolved. Our current levels of consumption and growth in the scale of the human economy are fundamentally unsustainable and undermine the very viability of life on Earth.
The solution is a paradigm shift from the current model of exponential economic growth to one of truly sustainable development. There is no such thing as ‘green growth,’ since growth without bounds can never be ‘green.’ Sustainable growth is a contradiction in terms, since limitless growth in scale is impossible within the finite container of Earth’s ecosystem.
A ‘course correction’ is essential if human civilization is to survive and thrive on our limited planet Earth. For the Nobel Committee to recognize this and award the Peace Prize to those who have been so seminal to sustainable development in its true sense would in itself be a huge step forward. Please help us realize this goal.