Background – Most people are unaware of the phenomenon of global ecological overshoot that is caused by the human population. Even people who are familiar with this concept are not encouraged to draw the conclusion that the human population are subsisting beyond the carrying capacity of Earth. Most people teaching and working within the field of environmental sustainability are unlikely to frame our chronic overshoot as being likely to cause population collapse. The insight from I=PAT informs us that growth economics increases all three of the key driver for ecological degradation, that in itself makes the economic model a contravention of our Human Right to a healthy environment.
Overlooked research – Intellectual debates on important but overlooked research is also needed to break down the barriers that exist in the prevailing worldview. For example the Bystroff demographic model which takes into consideration ecological stress factors, and the Lucia Tamburino research into overpopulation. These projects will challenge the prevailing peer pressure to overconsume and overpopulate. See also the category ecological ethics.
Marketing Media/Education Skills – Applicants with these skills might consider projects that seeks to rectify this omission in public awareness. These will help to generate the global anxiety that is necessary to motivate profound changes to lifestyles. It is recommended that the concept of the Charter for Ecological Justice be used to help to inspire a realistic hope for steering the global community to begin behaving considerately towards each other, in ecological terms. Sharing common natural resources according to need rather than affluence.
Graphics Available – This link contains some images which might provide material when sharing the concept of ecological overshoot and ecosystems collapse. Some more light-hearted images were employed in the very simple Powerpoint linked below. Malawi have used some in the local Chechewa language with great success.
Joining the Dots – The gathering momentum in the ‘Beyond Growth‘ movement is not visible in the mainstream media. The escalating symptoms of climate and ecological collapse are frequently not identified as such. Civil unrest, cost of living rise, immigration, and warring talk are all symptoms that are dealt with as separate issues. Weather extremes are also lost under the distractions of celebrity culture that dominate the modern news outlets. Any projects that help the public to join the dots regarding the converging crises of climate, ecosystems and financial breakdown are welcomed.
Demographic Modelling – There is at least one peer-reviewed demographic model that takes account of this ongoing environmental degradation. A project which explores this model and encourages other demographers to seriously consider its value would be most helpful.
Demographic Data – There is currently no official mechanism for monitoring premature deaths which result from breakdown in climate and ecosystems collapse, any project that seeks to fill this gap will be helpful to raise awareness regarding the level of injury that is daily inflicted by the affluent on those who are suffering from unreliable weather patterns and failing ecosystems.
Global Social Interaction – Any project which which seeks to involve affluent populations with making reparations to afflicted populations will help to foster the interconnectedness that needed for this mindset shift.
Psychology Studies – Projects that encourage the public to consider the role of collective obedience to authority in our current collective trajectory are helpful. These could explore the parallel between the Stanley Milgram obedience research and the way that we are content ignore the casualties and suffering that are caused daily by our choice of economic model; this self examination exercise should help us to assume collective responsibility.
Using International Law – The fact that the prevailing socio-economic model is reliant on ecocidal growth economics provides a legal case against the continued use of this model. A project that seek to bring the legitimacy of growth economics into question in the international courts would be a helpful tool to raise global awareness.