Category Archives: conservation

As Population Peaks There is One Certainty: Things Will Be Messy and Complicated


We humans are clearly overrunning the planet, but few understand or will face what is happening.  As population hits an all-time peak later this century, life on the planet will get much tougher and there will be no simple answers to the problems that will arise or simply increase in severity.  While it is hard to see ahead with any detail, past experience says there will never be a single crisis that challenges humanity like overpopulation does (barring an asteroid impact, a global volcanic surprise, or the sun doing something unexpected).  This is because human nature drives us to want to live better and have more children.  Can we successfully change ourselves to have less offspring and live more sustainably?  Continue reading

The Thirst for Economic Growth is Normal, But It Increases Overpopulation Risks


People all over the world want economic growth, believing it will make them better off, and who can blame them?  But how much bigger can we grow before our global systems begin to come apart at the seams? Continue reading

Worst Disaster of 2015 Was Missed by Many


The news media report many problems and disasters, but they can miss much.  Dr. Jeff Masters Wunderblog for October 13, 2015, brought to my attention a disaster worse than any others I’ve seen this year, in which smoke from forest clearing fires in Indonesia has covered an area thousands of miles across and is causing the premature deaths of thousands of people.  This is made worse by a developing El Nino weather pattern that is increasingly keeping parts of the tropics much hotter and drier than usual.  This is clearly a huge problem, but what interests me most is what it suggests about the next century as the population explosion “detonates”.  The climate changes we’ve seen so far have been worrisome, but I’m more worried about what will happen as the planet warms, the population grows, and the weather changes still more.  Continue reading

How to Get the Population Point Across? Use Hashtag #StopHavingChildren


What can we do about the population explosion?  We hear about the symptoms every day, but nobody talks about the cause.  The media churns along, reporting on increased concern for conservation, climate change effects, immigration, alternative energy sources, etc., and it is disappointing that they will not discuss what’s behind the problems they discuss every day: the exploding population.  It is easy to feel helpless in the face of such a huge problem, but what can we do? Continue reading

How Can Civilization Avoid the Population Explosion?


Looking back on my handful of decades of observation, I agree with published experts who see the pace of change in technology and possibly in human civilization accelerating. Population charts also show a rapid upswing that will eventually exceed our resources and infrastructure, but a number of efforts to avoid disaster are ongoing, most relatively weak and some wrong-headed, but they are better than nothing. More importantly they may end up buying much needed time to cope with the negative consequences of the population explosion.  But will it be enough?  And how do we avoid enabling the population to continue to skyrocket-to-disaster? Continue reading

Will Our Dependence on the Internet Enable the Population Explosion, and the Crash?


The adoption of digital communications technology keeps accelerating, but brings risk. The crash phase of the global population explosion may not start with food shortages, global pandemic, or world war, but with a widespread shutdown of the internet.  The disruption to our shipping, energy, and food systems would be catastrophic.  But isn’t the internet too resilient from its diversity, complexity, and vast extent to be at risk of a global shutdown?  How might this come about? Continue reading

Shouldn’t World War III Be Against Poverty, Ignorance, Waste, and Overpopulation?


We have met the enemy and he is us.” That famous quote I first read in Walt Kelly‘s great 20th century cartoon strip Pogo has stayed with me ever since.  I have come to realize that, if we are to minimize the suffering from the convergence of the population explosion and the exhaustion of fossil fuels, it will require an effort such as my parents experienced in World War II, involving government-enforced rationing, “victory gardens” for every household, people working together and living together in poorer conditions than their forebears, and businesses forgoing profit until the “war” is over.  This will not be easy to achieve, however, for reasons I will discuss. Continue reading