Is the Population Explosion Itself Partially Responsible for the Global Rise in Fear, Hatred, and Violence?


As more and more people have lived in closer and closer proximity, and urban population density has climbed into the thousands per square mile, all of human society has been affected.

When the population was a tenth of what it is today, in the 1700’s, people valued almost any human contact because they didn’t see other people very often.  In the 18th and 19th century (and before), most people lived on farms and many of them were isolated, rarely seeing other people outside their own household.  When anyone saw another person, they were happy to see them, greeted them in a friendly way, and talked a bit.   Many people in remote areas got their news this way.

By the end of the 19th century cities had begun to grow rapidly as many young people from the farms, no longer needed as technology made farming more efficient, moved to the cities to find work.  As population densities increased, people could not greet everyone on the street any more – there were just too many people for that.  Thus, people started ignoring each other on the street, unless they had a relationship of some kind, a habit which persists to this day.

At the end of the 20th century the crowding in cities became extreme, and a small percentage of the population became increasingly paranoid and distrustful and, with the help of organizations of bigots like the KKK and of fascist propaganda, a hatred that reinforced their self-imposed isolation and obedience to conservative leaders was spawned in them, and it grew and spread.

Today the epidemic of hatred and fear has been pumped up to extremely high levels by conservative strategists, the current president, and the conservative media.  As a result, hate-inspired mass shootings have become daily occurrences.

I believe it is likely that, as the global population continues to surge toward 10 billion, the fear, hatred, and violence will only increase, and conservative politicians will only see reason to encourage it for their own benefit.  I only hope it will not lead to an unjustified war or civil war, as nobody would benefit.

We have a lot to be afraid of, but it is not each other.

Thanks for reading — Tim

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Once Gone Wrong, Can Artificially Intelligent Machines Be Fixed?


Artificial intelligence has some big risks.  When you set a machine to learn its job and program itself, you will soon not only not know how the machine actually works, and if it goes wrong you may not be able to understand its workings well enough to fix it.  For many issues this won’t be a big, or possibly even noticeable problem, but when it affects your medical diagnosis or how your pilot can control the plane you’re on, this fundamental problem of artificial intelligence can become very serious. Continue reading

Will the End of Civilization Sneak Up On Us?


Major disaster or creeping decay?  A huge, amorphous disaster like an Extinction Event can last anywhere from minutes (asteroid impact) to 500 million years (volcanic eruptions).  The current extinction event, thought to be the sixth, began at least a century or two ago and may continue for another century or two, though that period could be drastically shortened by a number of potential events such as nuclear war or climate change.  Human events are rarely severe enough to cause drastic, lasting change unless they are supported by many other, seemingly less significant situations and events.  For instance, a small change in the climate can favor some microorganisms over others, and result in sudden, unexpected die-offs of particular species such as starfish, with unpredictable environmental consequences.  Terrible typhoons killed hundreds of thousands of people in Myanmar and China, and the Sichuan earthquake killed tens of thousands, but these countries’ populations barely showed the difference a decade later.  So how can we expect the next century to play out? Continue reading

The Biggest Catastrophes Are the Ones We Ignore until It’s Too Late


It’s 2019 and, still, nobody is paying attention to the population explosion.  As 2018 was drawing to a close I happened to be at a dinner with a friend, University of Michigan professor emeritus in environmental studies, Jim Crowfoot, and when, as we often do, we spoke of overpopulation and climate change he leaned over to me and very quietly and seriously said “The house is on fire, but nobody’s paying attention.”   He wasn’t kidding. Continue reading

Which Kills More People: Extreme Heat or Extreme Cold?


This is an interesting question, especially from an earth science perspective.  And this article is excellent scientific reading if you want to better understand the effects of global warming.  Unfortunately, this is only one aspect of the effects of our runaway overpopulation.  This might become a major problem by the end of the century, but if the oceans rise ten feet before that the disruption will be so devastating I wonder if deaths from heat and cold will be noticed.

Enjoy the pinnacle of civilization, everyone, and prepare if you can for the big Die Off.  I, for one, fully expect to be one of the first to starve to death, and I’m not looking forward to it.

Good luck to us all – Tim

The Problems of the Population Explosion Will Increasingly Overlap


Our problems from population overgrowth focus mostly on food, and are not decreasing.  As I have suggested in past posts, famine will be a key element of the global collapse humanity is racing towards, and this article describes the current status of our global food infrastructure.  This additional article provides even more detail.  Unfortunately, it appears we are steadily losing ground and on a path to disaster. Continue reading

How Fast Will Sea Levels Rise? No one Really Knows


Messing up our climate with excessive CO2 emissions is taking huge risks.  With the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere rising faster every year, and massive releases of stronger greenhouse gases like methane (natural gas), it is likely that sea levels will continue to rise worldwide.  What people don’t remember is that small changes in sea level have happened all along, and that it wasn’t that long ago when, because we were still emerging from the last ice age, sea levels were several feet (or tens of feet) lower.  Now humanity has built so heavily in areas near sea level that almost any rise is reflected in an increased frequency of damaging floods.   In some areas the flooding already happens from a high tide, and no storm or other weather event is needed.

There is a lot more ice (and potential sea level rise) than most people realize.  Another thing people don’t realize is that there is enough ice on land in just Greenland and Antarctica to increase sea levels by 200 FEET!  If some portion of this increase happens quickly, in less than a month, for instance, humanity will be completely surprised and “caught with our pants down” as famine and pandemic result.  So much of our food reaches us via container ships that, when the container ports are shut down by a sea level increase of a foot or two, shiploads of food will spoil at sea, grocery store shelves will get sparse, and there is a danger of people panicking and making runs on the grocery stores and banks.

I certainly hope humanity comes to its senses soon.   Thanks for reading — Tim