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The Top Ten Mass Delusions (and their Biophysical Realities)

From Sailesh Rao,
September 2023

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities”
— Voltaire


Our global industrial civilization is based on several axioms or self-evident truths, that are clearly delusional.

crossed boundaries

In his paper on the Human Ecology of Overshoot, William Rees describes how the conflict between mass delusion and biophysical reality results in the destabilization of the ecosphere due to the excessive scale of the human enterprise. In a recent Science Advances paper by Richardson et al., the authors show that six of the nine planetary boundaries are currently transgressed, quantifying the excessive scale of the human enterprise.

Yet, it is clear that our political leaders are not paying attention since there is no sign that they are scaling back on the growth of the human enterprise.

Schoolchildren will be ditching classes en masse and protesting over the next few days in anticipation of the UN General Assembly meeting on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) next week in New York city. We are seeking your help to expand the student protestors’ horizon beyond the fossil fuel issue, the Burning machine. Please download this tri-fold brochure, print them and hand them out to the protestors so that they get better acquainted with the impact of animal agriculture, the Killing machine, on the ongoing ecological catastrophes.

Topics include:

10. Only humans have souls, while other animals are soulless automatons

9. Animals don’t suffer in the dairy and egg industries

8. Calcium is only found in dairy products

7. Protein Is only found in meat and other animal products

6. Humans are superior to other animals in terms of intelligence

5. The pursuit of happiness necessitates consuming more and more stuff

4. Some CO2 molecules are emitted more equal than others

3. The earth is an infinite source of raw materials for our global industrial civilization and an infinite sink for the waste that it produces

2. There is an invisible hand that turns the rank self-interest of individuals into the best interests of society

1. Technology will overcome any biophysical limitations on economic growth imposed by a finite planet


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