Paul Strome: Global Crises and their Root Causes | Unpublished

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Unpublished Opinions

Paul Strome's picture
Cheticamp, Nova Scotia
About the author

Paul Strome’s Bio 

Paul has two adult daughters and he has lived with First Nations, Inuit and Metis for a significant part of his life. After graduation from the University of Waterloo in Anthropology, he worked in the Northwest Territories/Nunavut as an educator, so he experienced the culture, language, and geographic parameters with indigenous people for 12 years. He has seen first hand how indigenous people of Canada are treated. This impassioned him to petition the government at every opportunity to bring about the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People.

After he moved to southern Ontario as an educator, he ran the extra-curricular Outdoor Education Club in addition to his classes, in one of the largest high schools in Canada training and taking students on canoeing, hiking, climbing, snow-shoeing and dog-sledding expeditions.  He has canoed/kayaked many of Canada’s Heritage Rivers and has lived in or travelled to every province and territory in Canada which has broadened his concerns about environment and social concerns. These experiences have intensified his deep-seated love and admiration for Canada.

As an elder and David Suzuki Ambassador he has championed the Blue Dot Movement in Unama’ki and in recent years was the Atlantic Regional Representative for the Council of Canadians. He collaborates and networks for the common good with other like-minded organizations.  He is well-known as an environmentalist/social activist throughout Unama’ki (Cape Breton Island) and beyond. He has met personally with many municipal, provincial and federal politicians to encourage them to adopt sustainable environmental and social changes to address climate change. He has also done the same at schools, community colleges, libraries, community halls and Cape Breton University.

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Paul Strome: Global Crises and their Root Causes

January 15, 2024

Within my lifetime the human population has gone from a little over 2 billion souls in 1950 to a little over 8 Billion in 2024. We have been the dominant species on the planet for such a relatively short period of geological time but that has had such a huge impact on every other living thing on the planet. Some scientists believe we have “socially engineered ourselves the way we geo-engineered the planet” and they refer to this as ‘overshoot’. The population growth has demanded/necessitated all the essentials of life be provided and where do all those resources come from? Every single one of them has to come from Mother Earth whether it is clean air to breathe, land to live on, food, clothing, building materials, minerals, and clean water, but at what price and what are the limits?

Most people realize we are now in an environmental, economic, social and political crisis but we are not focusing at the root causes of the crisis. If we take the time to look deeper at the global issues, they could be summarized as consumption, waste and population.  Humans are currently using up approximately 1.7 Earths to maintain consumption of resources at a level that Earth’s biocapacity can regenerate. If we want to have any possible chance at a sustainable future we have to look at seriously modifying our behaviours.

Some of the critical observations are worth noting. One quarter of the world’s population are responsible for nearly three quarters of the emissions. Globally, approximately 100,000 flights take off and land all over the world each and every day. I can only imagine how many cars are driving around each day with one occupant.  Our penchant for new fashions every single season uses an incredible amount of the planet’s resources and the majority of those clothes that are worn for such a short period of time end up in landfill. As of 2021, an estimated 90% of the world’s goods are shipped in millions of sealift containers every year.

Advertisers and others who we might call “behavioural influencers” using various forms of media and technology have played a huge role in promoting these social norms. Our creativity and innovation are driving overconsumption so I am pondering the idea - could they also be used to re-focus society in another way by promoting different social behaviours? We have been able to change human behaviour in the past so there must be a way to change it for the betterment of our future and the health of the planet. 


January 28, 2024