Some transformative thinking about the human environment by Aapo Sääsk


The Human Environment

In 1968, the Swedish government places an item called “the human environment” on the agenda of the UN Economic and Social Council. This would eventually lead to the 1972 Stockholm Conference.

Laws of Ecology

Barry Commoner publishes the book The Closing Circle in 1971, where he suggests the four laws of ecology:

Everything is Connected to Everything Else. There is one ecosphere for all living organisms and what affects one, affects all.

Everything Must Go Somewhere. There is no “waste” in nature and there is no “away” to which things can be thrown.

Nature Knows Best. Humankind has fashioned technology to improve upon nature, but such change in a natural system is, says Commoner, “likely to be detrimental to that system.”

There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch. Everything comes from something. There’s no such thing as spontaneous existence.

Stockholm Conference

The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment is held in Stockholm, Sweden; it results in creation of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP); Maurice Strong of Canada chairs the conference and will be appointed UNEP’s first Executive Director.

Blueprint for Survival

A manifesto signed by 36 of Britain’s leading thinkers is published in Teddy Goldsmith’s journal The Ecologist. The “Blueprint for Survival,” warns of the “breakdown of society and irreversible disruption of life-supporting systems on this planet”.

The Limits to Growth

The Club of Rome, a group of leaders and thinkers from 40 countries, issues the report The Limits to Growth written by Donella and Dennis Meadows. Based on a pioneering U.S. project of computerized global modeling, it argues that if present population, food, pollution, and resource trends continue, the limits to growth on the planet will be reached within the next 100 years.

Johannesburg Summit

30 years later, in 2002, the Johannesburg Summit proved that until then international action had not been able to solve the social and environmental problems facing humanity. New paths must be broken and also business must be constructively involved.

There is enough for everyone

I eat fruit and greens from all over the world. I eat meat and fish from all over the world. I buy products manufactured all over the world made by raw materials from all over the world. I use energy extracted from all over the world. I spend vacations all over the world. I go to conferences all over the world. I drink wines and coffees and teas from all over the world.

At the same time, billions of people don’t have electricity and pure water where they live.

Things must change, and I know they will. “There is enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.” (Ghandi said that)

Scarab’s objective is to find business solutions to environmental challenges by developing innovative sustainable technologies and business.