Denis Hayes, founder of Earth Day, compares global climate collapse to Irish famine
By: Patrick Roberts | Published Thursday, April 22, 2010, 9:05 AM | Updated Friday, September 9, 2011, 9:38 PM
Denis Hayes, the Irish American founder of Earth Day, has warned that global ecological collapse would be an incredible disaster,far worse than any economic crisis.
"Global ecological collapse would be a dust bowl without California
, an Irish potato famine without America
." he told a recent conference.
"We’re still breathing molecules from Caesar’s last breath. Our ecology is more fragile than the economy. We recovered from tulip mania, the South Sea bubble and the savings and loan crisis, even the Great Depression."
He stated that bringing the economy back to "normalcy" wouldn’t be good news because it will accelerate the global ecological bubble.
"Current accounting practices don’t address our ecological storehouse." he stated
"Mother Nature doesn’t do bailouts." The problem is that our economic system places its highest value on consumption, rather than the accumulation of real wealth. The faster resources, like wood, move from the forest to the dump, the higher our GDP climbs."
Hayes said "the single biggest factor in a collapse is often when the rich and powerful can shield themselves from the consequences of their actions."
Hayes borrowed a page from Jared Diamond’s Collapse: "How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed," and warned that many civilizations that degraded their environment never recovered… Easter Island, classical Mayan civilization and the Greenland Norse.
Hayes, an Irish American from California, dropped out of Harvard
to start Earth Day in 1970.