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Soft Landing – Richard Heinberg responds

Posted by bedoin sur janvier 13, 2008

SO FAR THE three of us seem to be in general agreement. So let me propose an idea that may be controversial.

would suggest that it is time to make a distinction in the equity
discussion. With regard to ecological space (water and land), we should
aim for rough per-capita equity between and within nations, and for a
reduction of human population to fit Earth’s long-term carrying
capacity. With regard to fossil fuels, we should aim for equal rates of
reduction in consumption rather than equal rates of consumption.

desire for equity in access to ecological space is ethically
incontrovertible – even if its fulfilment seems remote in today’s
world. But the notion of equal decline rates for fossil-fuel
consumption is more problematic. Among climate activists, there are
strong calls for industrialised nations – which have profited
economically from using fossil fuels – to reduce coal, oil and gas
consumption much faster than less industrialised countries, which have
yet to benefit from fuel-based mechanisation.

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