William Rees interview by Mike Gismondi.

Bill Rees is a nice fellow with a strong message – if the world cannot safely expand its way to sustainability we will have to discover other ways of relieving the material impoverishment of half of humanity.

A bioecologist by training and former Director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning (1994-1999), Dr. Rees’ combines teaching and research on public policy and the planning implications of global environmental trends, with public speaking on behalf of the ecosphere and the common good. He is best known for his work on the ‘ecological footprint’ – an analytical tool for measuring a community’s energy and material consumption.

Mike Gismondi spoke with Bill Rees at the Parkland Institute Conference: “Building a Post-Corporate Society: A How to Guide for Citizens” in Edmonton, November 2000.  Continue reading William Rees interview by Mike Gismondi.

We are eating less meat. Why?

The main reason most people I know who consume less meat have chosen to do so: factory farming– the inhumane, coldly mechanical, sometimes unhealthy and generally disgusting production process that now dominates the meat industry. Anyone who has watched such films as “Food Inc.” can thereafter hardly look their burgers in the face quite the same way again.

PS: Eating a lot more factory-farmed grain and vegetables (genetically-modified, carbon intensive, poisoned with pesticides and grossly polluting with over-application of both pesticides and fertilizers) doesn’t necessarily lighten the humanload on the ecosphere. Too bad we have created a world in which seven billion people (going on nine) are increasingly dependent on such production processes for survival (and where they aren’t, they soon will be thanks to the increasing dominance of global food production and distribution by a handful of transnationals).

On the Use and Misuse of the Concept of Sustainability

The concepts of ‘sustainable development’ and ‘sustainability’ continue to be subverted, distorted and otherwise misused in the ongoing political debates concerning global change and economic development. Society continues to be in deep denial of fundamental facts pertaining to contemporary biophysical reality and the increasingly global socio-cultural context within which the human universe is unfolding.

To address some of the commoner deceits and misconceptions, Ed Barry (The Population Institute, Washington D.C) and I teamed up in a presentation to the 8th International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability held in Vancouver, BC in January. Here are some of the major points we argued in our presentations: Continue reading On the Use and Misuse of the Concept of Sustainability