Sufficiency: What is Enough?

Earth’s natural and “abundant” resources exist within limits.  While these resources may rejuvenate and renew themselves time and time again, at what point do they stop becoming readily available? How would we adjust to a changing world where these resources may one day become truly scarce? Can we ethically consume an endless supply of electricity, food or water when there are so many across the globe that are living in total darkness, without access to clean water and sufficient food?

Our world is changing rapidly as human population growth continues at an exponential rate. Scientists suggest that we may reach a global freshwater crisis as early as 2050  and if we keep degrading our soil and land we may not have enough left to feed the growing population. If everyone lived the life of the average American, we would need 5 planet Earths to produce enough resources. When over-consumption is becoming more prominent and depletion of resources is inevitable, the only way to sustain our planet for future generations will be to realize what is sufficient for us to survive while maintaining an ideal quality of life. We also need to become more efficient in our resource use to ensure enough to go around for everyone.

While we look for solutions to many of today’s global problems, one of the alternatives that needs to be examined should be our own behaviors. In order to move towards a society of sustainable development, we must change our way of thinking and the habits that encompass our daily lives. In the face of any great environmental, social, or economic struggle, humans have always found a way to adapt and cooperate in order to make it through a crisis.  This is our time to analyze the amount of resources we need to survive to ensure our neighbors can do the same. This is our time to learn from each other and adapt to a rapidly changing global environment. This is our time to think and ask ourselves, “How much is enough?”


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