Canadians for a Sustainable Society advocates a move away from the growth-forever course which our society is currently following. We promote a change to social, environmental and fiscal sustainability. CSS looks at the structure of the economy which is most likely to promote the stability and the low footprint necessary to achieve sustainability.
Throughout history humans have shown an incredible ability to expand their numbers and the complexity of their societies whenever they encounter a rich resource base. Unfortunately, there is no record of human society successfully preserving that resource base to enable the stable progress of a sustainable society. The enduring pattern of human societies therefore is one of boom and bust the later part of the cycle featuring societal collapse and dramatic population declines.
Wars, plagues and social upheaval are the well recorded historical symptoms of these declines but scholars have been remiss in failing to identify the basic factors which have generated the conditions leading to these events.
Now that resource base exploitation is worldwide, humans need to break the pattern of over-use in order to avoid the consequences of the past playing out on a global basis.
How to use this site:
1. Issue Pages – General, Advanced and Reference
I. The General pages are a short overview of an issue.
II. The Advanced pages cover the issue in more depth and usually include Interactive and Motion graphs
III. Reference pages provide a wealth of research sources.
IV. Click here for an overview video on this site.
2. Motion Graphs. The motion graphs allow the user to view the data from many perspectives. View the 20 second "How To" video below, showing their full potential.
3. Interactive Graphs. Interactive graphs allow the user to select different values for different variables which yield a range of outcomes on a wide variety of issues. Of particular interest are the population history graphs for many nations from the year 400 BC to 2010 using real data and projections from 2010 to 2100 using growth variables selected by the user. View the 20 second "How To" video below regarding the Interactive Graphs.
This site contains some unique data bases which illustrate our main themes. The mentality of growth-forever creates boom and bust cycles. Check our population history pages which document the population cycle history for most nations on earth going back to 400 BC. These interactive graphs also allow projections into the future for the impacts on per capita water and farmland resources of various population growth rates.
The historical trend of inequality levels in many countries is laid out here and discussed here.
The role of energy resources per capita in building the sophistication of our societies is examined here but although energy is the most important resource, it is but one of many and the impact of their increasing scarcity is clarified by the Human Effort Index.
Canadians for a Sustainable Society deals with a great many issues because of the high degree of interdependence of these issues in our complex society. We point out the inadequacy of using commercial financial tools in identifying and dealing with structural, real world resource and human problems. The widely divergent and, very often directly conflicting interests, between different strata of the population is discussed as well.
If human society is to progress, it must be made sustainable: environmentally, socially and economically. This will require fundamental shifts in our goals and how we measure progress. Simple growth of the commercial economy can no longer be used as the sole metric of our civilizations health.
To be effective, the national conversation will have to expand to include the fundamental drivers of environmental and social decline rather than merely covering the symptoms of climate change, unemployment and poverty again and again and again.
We can provide contact information for experts on many subjects who can provide insight into the issues addressed here. These experts may or may not support any or all of the positions CSS has adopted.