Limits on Growth, climate change and more – Mazin Qumsiyeh

The world population when Jesus was born was roughly 150 million and when
my grandfather was born was about 1.5 billion and it doubled by the time I
was born and now stands at 8 billion! But there is also a system that has
developed particularly since the industrial revolution where rampant
consumption has depleted non-renewable resources and damaged earth. The
main destructive aspects all caused by humans include: climate change,
habitat destruction, pollution (more plastics than fish in the oceans),
overexploitation, militarism/wars, and invasive species. This year 2022
marks the 50th anniversary of the publication in 1972 of a prophetic book
called “The Limits of Growth” which lays out scenarios of what is happening
today. You can read the book here:

is also the year that the first protected area was established. However
despite the growth of total land mass allocated globally as “protected”,
the rate of loss of species continues to grow (particularly large mammals,
birds, amphibians, plants, corals). This year 2022 marks 27 years since the
UN represented by many countries decided to focus on climate change. But
meeting in Egypt’s Sharm Alshaikh on this issue ended in failure as oil
producing countries and private interests blocked meaningful action.

Our Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem
University’s Mar Andrea campus ( is small in size (8
employees, and ten volunteers on average) with a tiny (shoe-string!) budget
but is highly effective thanks to you and the network of thousands of
supporters. We worked for the past eight years to change things at least
locally with some influence abroad through research, lobbying, education,
collaborations, and conservation. This happened despite tremendous
challenges of Israeli colonization and oppression. As this year comes to a
close and we will soon write our 2022 annual report, it is worth reflecting
on 2021 achievements to try to understand where we are going. The 2021
report is here
To volunteer or donate, visit because we plan to
go to much bigger things with your support.

We continue to have educational activities almost daily including student
visits and lectures both in person and online. Here is a seminar I did for
Kairos response that addresses some issues:

Al-Haq on COP27: Cooperation with Israel on Climate without Palestinian
Self-determination Entrenches Colonial Climate Vulnerability of Palestinians

  While we try to focus on the environment, we also work and worry about
other things. For example, 21 members (including 13 children) of the same
family (AbuRayya) including parents, grandparents, cousins, uncles and
aunts burned to death in a fire in Jabalia refugee camp.  Make no mistake
about it this is the direct result of the inhuman Israeli siege/blockade on
Gaza’s 2.3 million people (a siege supported by Western governments).  With
limited or no electricity most hours of the day, people use gas power and
other dangerous devices. They are not allowed to renew increasingly
dilapidated civil defense equipment including importation of simple
fire-fighting equipment.  The siege is a crime against humanity by
international law.

Stay Human and keep Palestine alive

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor, Founder, and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine
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