When people will realize that the economic system can not be bigger that the planet, that planet and ecological equilibrium is deadly threatened and is much more valuable than many trillions of tons of oil or GDP? When people are going to address the real problems around us, for instance, excess of demand and excess of wastening? Almost 50% of energy produced in the world is wastened. A growing system like the world economies can not grow forever in a non growing system like the planet. I understand why many fail to recognize this: average US citizens ecological footprint indicates that this country is using 75.000.000 km2 of the world, while they only have 9.300.000 km2. Why is this country not in an environmental collapse? By just one reason: if US was alone in the world with no country or territory available to be exploited through global commerce at a zero ecological cost, they would be in an environmental collapse many decades ago.
An awkward absence
May 14th 2009
From The Economist print edition
America is missing out by being stand-offish towards the law of the sea. So is the sea
YOU do not see many milestones on the floor of the ocean, but one was passed this week. May 13th was the deadline for the submission of new claims to the seabed, and from pole to pole coastal states have been asserting ownership of vast chunks of continental shelf in a rush for territory unrivalled since the scramble for Africa at the end of the 19th century (see article). The treasure this time is not ivory or cocoa beans but petroleum, or at least the promise of it, and perhaps amazing fuels and wonder drugs, as well as gold, silver and other minerals. The claims will now be accepted or rejected by a United Nations commission, but one big maritime power will, by choice, be absent: the United States. It should not be.
Unlike 156 other countries, America has never ratified the 27-year-old UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, under which this carve-up is taking place. That is no worse than unfortunate: the deadline applies only to states that acceded to the treaty more than ten years ago and America still has time to make its claims. But first it will have to ratify the treaty. This the Obama administration, like its two most recent predecessors, wants to do, as probably does most of the Senate, which must provide its advice and consent. A determined minority, however, wants to block it, and finding the time for the necessary procedure may prove difficult.