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Canadian mennonite article series #1: an introduction to limits

“Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”
Kenneth Boulding, economist

We live in a finite world, with finite soil, water, and resources. Yet we in North America live in an economic system premised on indefinite growth. A collision between the finite and the indefinite is absolutely inevitable.

Canadian mennonite article series: #9 moving ahead one

Those of you who have been following this series may despair at the scale of the problem at hand. Indeed it is very common for people, when first encountering the topics of peak-oil and ecological limits, to feel overwhelmed, to wish to retreat to a cozy status-quo world and hope that these problems go away.

There are two difficulties, however:

Canadian mennonite article series: #8: a theology of limits - what to do when there isn't enough

Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves.

Genesis 11: 4

What if there isn't “enough for all”?

To suggest that there are limits to what we can do seems to go precisely against what Mennonite Disaster Service or Habitat for Humanity are all about.

Canadian mennonite article series: #5: energy and food

We have, as a nation, become amazingly flippant about food.

We are ignorant about where food comes from, we utterly rely on “the system” for food security, we appear willing to consume the strangest concoctions of chemicals made to appear as food, we insist on eating only “perfect looking” food, and we buy food as cheaply as possible.

Canadian mennonite article series: #7: limits and conflict - the obligation of the peacemaker

Wealth and conflict have long gone hand-in-hand. So it now is with oil: Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Sudan, Angola ...

Being a pacifist can no longer just mean not being willing to go to war. To refuse to hold and use a gun is a relatively straightforward position. However wars are fought for complex and subtle reasons, and frequently fought in complex and subtle ways. Surely to be a committed pacifist must also mean to live in such a way as to prevent the need for holding and using a gun from arising in the first place.

Canadian mennonite article series: #3: limits and energy - A tale of oil

Oil is essentially 200 million years of stored ancient solar energy, approximately half of which we have extracted and used in one hundred years. We are, therefore, using oil (and natural gas) roughly two million times faster than they formed. The fossil fuels which we flagrantly use are a one-time gift, not to be repeated until some half a billion years into the future.

Canadian mennonite article series: #10: moving ahead two - where to start, what to do

If you have become convinced of the need for change, then time is of the essence. Currently, globalization and the Internet allow you, with a few keystrokes, to purchase things, acquire information, and to share experiences with people from far and wide. This may not always be the case.