In 1969, the late Professor Albert Bartlett famously delivered a lecture, entitled “Arithmetic, Population and Energy” , which begins with the observation that, “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.” The truth of this is profound and irrefutable, as is further compounded by Bartlett’s averment, as the first law of sustainability, that “You cannot sustain population growth and/or growth in the rates of consumption of resources”. Nonetheless, exponential growth has continued, unabated, over the past half century, as is attested by an increase in the consumption of natural resources from 27 billion tonnes in 1970, to 92 billion tonnes in 2017, which corresponds to around 12 tonnes/year for every person on Earth . If recycled material is also included, the total rises to 100.6 billion tonnes, and hence 13 tonnes for every breathing human on the planet , and significantly, the […]