More than 40 years after the publication „The Limits to Growth“ the Club of Rome presented its new report „Plundering the Planet“. The author Ugo Bardi explains the consequences of overexploitation and why there will be shortages of key resources like metals and oil. Even worse are the ecological costs of mining: Radioactive materials and heavy metals poison the earth’s ecological systems while growing CO2 emissions cause catastrophic climate change. If we continue to build coal-fired power plants we risk the future of humanity we risk extinction, says Bardi. Coal is only profitable because social and ecological costs are not taken into account. Future generations will have to pay the bill and clean up the mess. Resistance to coal plants it therefore crucial. The same is true for tar sands and shale gas, which is extracted by the controversial „fracking“ technology. The exploitation of these sources is an „immense historical error“, Bardi says. Fracking might be even more climate-damaging than coal, as it releases Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Additionally, groundwater resources in vast areas have already been polluted by fracking as in the US. Renewable energies are able to deliver much cheaper and cleaner energy – if environmental costs are taken into account. However, the system is not conceived to make such decisions as it focusses only on short term immediate profits. „Half the earth will be destroyed like that.“


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