Facts Of Life
You know there are a lot of things we can fix in this world; we can do something about…”
David Suzuki is a scientist, environmentalist, broadcaster, and co-creator of the David Suzuki Foundation.
But some things are facts of life… those are things we have to accept and work ourselves around.”
One of these facts, Suzuki stresses, is exponential growth:
If something is growing at 1% a year it’ll double in 70 years. 2% a year it’ll double in 35 years; 3% a year in 24 years… anything growing exponentially will double in a predictable length of time. Now I’m going to show you why all this stuff about… ‘We got to keep the economy growing’… is ultimately suicidal.”
A System Analogous To The Planet
- 1 test tube full of food = the planet.
- Bacteria who eat the food= humans.
- 1 bacterial cell is introduced into a completely full test tube.
- According to exponential growth it will divide every minute.
So at times zero there is 1 cell (bacteria). 1 minute there are 2 (cells). 2 minutes there are 4. 3 minutes there are 8. 4 minutes 16.”
60 Minute Growth Cycle
At 60 minutes the test tube is completely packed with bacteria and there’s no food left. So we have a 60 minutes growth cycle. When is the test tube only half full?”
- 59 minutes: 50% full.
Even though it’s been chugging along for 59 minutes it’s only half full but one minute later it’ll be completely filled. So that means that…”
- 58 minutes: 25% full.
- 57 minutes: 12.5% full.
- 55 minutes: 3% full.
Living In The 59th Minute
Our home is the biosphere. It’s fixed and finite. It can’t grow. And we’ve got to learn to live within that finite world. Every scientist I have talked to agrees with me: We’ve already passed the 59th minute.”
All quotes courtesy of the test tube video with David Suzuki.