Humans are using water in various water-stressed areas at rates that are unsustainable and which cause irreversible damage.
We are living beyond the means provided by Earth by consuming bio-resources – that is, the living parts of the Earth – at a rate that is approximately two-times the Earth’s ability to sustainably replenish them.
The water shortage in Cape Town is just one symptom of the enormous challenges we face.
These are the observations of Professor Mark New, University of Cape Town’s (UCT) pro vice-chancellor for climate change and director of the African Climate and Development Initiative.
New comments: “We are burning fossil fuels at a rate that means we will have exceeded the available carbon budget that we have to avoid dangerous climate change in the next 15 years.”
He compares the natural resource credit crisis created by society to the subprime crisis of 2008/9. “And perhaps even worse is that most of the benefits, the short-term benefits of this facility, this natural credit facility that we are using, are accruing to a minority; that is, the small percentage of well-off people in global society and in South Africa.”