Complex Scenarios Will Result from the Population Explosion


The population explosion will continue, increasing our dependence on each other, on a global basis, While crumbling infrastructure, lagging economies, and increasing storms like hurricane Sandy will plague developed countries over the next few decades, the developing countries will suffer ever-worsening food shortages and epidemics resulting in tens of millions of deaths.  Add to that a few wild cards, such as the possibility that:

  • Sea levels could rise several feet in a month if the Ross Ice Shelf or some of the masses of land-borne ice on Greenland slide into the sea, flooding most of the largest cities and power plants in the world.
  • Computers might become much more intelligent than humans, develop a need for self preservation, and decide to shut off the internet or even make war on humans.
  • A major volcanic event could shorten growing seasons and cripple agriculture for several years, resulting in famine in parts of the 3rd world.
  • The earth’s magnetic poles might reverse, which scientists say is overdue.  While there has been concern that this might cause a big increase in solar radiation at the earth’s surface, similar to the days of the “ozone hole”, more recent geological research finds no evidence of major impacts at the dozens of occasions when the poles have reversed.

These are just a few of the possibilities, and they’re not mutually exclusive.  Any one of them could potentially be disastrous, but it is more likely that one or  more will occur when least expected or when we are least prepared, and that sooner or later they will occur simultaneously and complicate our problems severely.

Of course, none of this might be a problem if world leaders had understood a decade or more ago what the impact of the population explosion would be and started promoting birth control and education worldwide.  Most humans have been too busy keeping their families sheltered and fed, however, and most have had little time to learn enough to understand the population problem.   Still, to those who think rationally it is quite evident that a population can always grow beyond the resources available to it – it happens in nature all the time.  No species (that we know of) has ever had such a massive impact on the global ecology, however, and the fundamental challenge to humanity is, can we stop having kids before it’s too late?

Thanks for reading and please promote the hashtag #StopHavingKids, as I think it will spur much needed discussion and consciousness raising.   — Tim

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