First the bad news. Our ecological footprint exceeded the Earth’s carrying capacity in the late 1970s and we are now effectively using the resources of 1.5 planets, which is clearly unsustainable. At current rates of fossil fuel use, the IPCC conservatively estimates we on track to warm the planet by 2.7-8.1°F, which would be a nightmare scenario for most life on Earth.
Making matters worse, governments and corporations remain sluggish to account for our environmental impacts within our political and economic systems, despite growing warnings. Business and politics as usual are no longer options if we want to maintain a livable planet.
The good news is that ordinary citizens are connecting the dots and wanting to respond to the impacts of climate change and other environmental crises. Let’s imagine this trend continuing and leading to a world of engaged change agents co-creating sustainable communities. In such a world, we can not only survive, but thrive in the coming years. This is our Hero’s Journey. This is our moon-shot. This is our opportunity to consciously evolve as a species and discover not only how to live interdependently with all life, but also what it means to be truly human.
To make a real difference, however, we must go beyond individual behaviors and find ways to increase our collective awareness and actions. Along with growing awareness and concern, we need effective, collaborative tools to understand and respond to our collective impacts and create more resilient communities and ecosystems. These tools are currently sorely lacking.
Earth Deeds is trying to fill this gap with easy to use online tools to enable all of us to acknowledge our environmental impacts and support meaningful projects that build local community resilience. We call this new system onsetting. Rather than “neutralizing” our environmental “sins” through carbon offsetting, Earth Deeds says, “Let’s be grateful for all that fossil fuels have enabled; let’s also recognize the environmental costs of burning these fuels; and let’s ‘pay it forward’ in ways that can help heal our world.”
Global warming is likely the greatest threat humans have ever faced and it is unfolding in our lifetimes. Rather than passive bystanders, let's work together to preserve a healthy planet for our children and all life.