Embracing the finite

Making our way in an era of dwindling natural resources

Dr Andi Horvath

Published 30 June 2017

Episode 397

Ecologist Professor Peter Vitousek explores how living in the Anthropocene, a time in which human activity has become the key driver of planetary health, will force us to make our way with diminished natural resources.

Peter also asks what we can learn from the historical experience of Pacific Islanders, whose cultural and agricultural practices were shaped by a profound understanding that their immediate horizons were in fact the very limits of their worlds.

“People [of the] Pacific islands were on their own and their island was their world,” says Professor Vitousek, “and so they really faced a global system in a way that we’re only now beginning to.

“They could see what was going on. They could see that they were changing things. They could see that what was left was all there was.”

Episode recorded: 8 June 2017

Up Close producer: Eric van Bemmel Audio engineer: Gavin Nebauer Banner image: David Berkowitz/Flickr

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