September 3, 2017

The 0.14%

Never mind the 1% - we are the 0.14%. But unlike them, anyone can join us.

How many people know our planet is in peril? Of those, how many use that knowledge to change the way they live? Surely there must be many of us. No?

Dave Cohen at the Decline of the Empire website writes:

"There are roughly 7.2 billion humans on Earth, and, roughly speaking, about 10 million of them are painfully aware that Homo sapiens is destroying the biosphere, slowly on human time scales, but in no time at all on the geological time scale. (10 million is a very generous estimate.) 
Some of those exceptional people, a goodly portion of whom are working scientists, are actively opposing the ongoing destruction, though many are not. Rounding up, those 10 million souls represent approximately 0.14% of the entire human population. 
The other 99.86% are either actively destroying the biosphere, or indifferent to that lamentable trend (i.e., they are merely current or would-be "consumers" who are thus acquiescing in and contributing to the trend indirectly)."

What? 10 million on the entire globe? Wow. I hope he is widely underestimating. How can we fix something if we are not aware that this is a problem of our own making?

Are you part of the 0.14%? Have you changed your personal consumption habits according to your knowledge?


  1. Anonymous9/03/2017

    I think this might be about right. Most people I meet don't have a clue about how anything works. While IQ has it's critics, most of the population may not have the pattern recognition needed to make sense of global warming.

  2. Anonymous9/03/2017

    Yes I am part of the 0.14%...

    I am in two minds as to whether this number is accurate, I can think of lots of movements that seem to be increasing these days, like the 'Tiny House' movement, permaculture, 'home-steading', renewable energy companies etc, which seem to be based on the realization that we can't keep using resources like we have in the past... Surely more than 10 million worldwide are involved.

    But then again I think of the people I know and, like Alex, I agree most people I personally know have little idea or interest in the environment, including some who vehemently oppose even the existence of global warming. I have influenced my nearest and dearest, but yes 0.14% is about 1 in 1000 and I do sometimes feel like my opinions are 1 in 1000.... Which is why I visit this blog....

    Clara, Australia

  3. There is little evidence from where I'm at that anyone at all sees the problem and wants to do anything to change it. Not one family member gets what I "go on about" not one. It does sometimes feel overwhelming, and then I come here............ So I sincerely thank Linda, Gregg and the rest of the NBA community for giving me hope!

  4. I hope that figure isn't correct, and interested to know how it was arrived at.

    I was at my local cafe the other day - it also supplies bread baked in a wood-fired oven and take away coffee. I take a cloth bag for them to put my bread in, but even after doing this for years I've never seen anyone else do it. I mentioned to the girl serving me that perhaps they could make bags with their logo on it. She said, good idea, after a tv show called War on Waste screened, they had a big increase in people buying 'keep cups' for their coffee.

    What strikes me about this is that this information has been around for many years, but it's not until it goes mainstream on tv that anyone does anything about it! The second thing that strikes me is that unless you make it easy for people - supply the cups and bags - most people are too caught up in their own world to do anything about it. So I guess here is the challenge for those of us who care - how can we make it easy for people to make good choices? I think it's a bit like dieting - if your cupboards are full of junk food, you will choose junk food. If it's easier to have a healthy snack - eg fruit salad already made in the fridge - you will choose the fruit salad.

    Locally our farmer's markets are thriving, and this is one example of making it easy for people. The food is there, unpackaged. If we had more cycle lanes it would make it safer for people to leave their cars at home. When the government bans plastic bags people then have to choose a re-usable bag (people are lobbying for this in my state at the moment, and it has already been banned in 3 states here in Australia). So I guess I'm saying how can each of us lobby for change or provide goods and services that are more environmentally friendly....And perhaps we could leave copies of An Inconvenient Truth or No Impact Man for work colleagues to borrow.



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