Category Archives: economics

Plans Being Made to Feed 9B People in 35 Years – What Will They Do for 10B? 11B?


This article from Wired magazine shows the weakness of American popular culture.  It is good that the authors see potential problems from the population explosion, and try to come up with a way to feed the 9 billion humans expected to live by 2050, but this is a very shallow consideration.  Certainly much thought and work should be applied to this issue, but do the authors think time and the population explosion will stop there?  What do they expect to do when the population – enabled to have even more children by the plentiful food supply – continues to explode and reaches 10 billion, 11 billion, and then 12 billion? Continue reading

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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

Overpopulation Drives Economic Inequality


There sure seem to be a lot of people trying to get rich quick these days, with many of them employing methods that are unethical, immoral, or downright criminal.  Injustices abound, but those that involve making and keeping people poor are everywhere, and have become so blatant that some of them have even been written into the laws.  So why are so many people trying to take advantage of others, and of a legal system increasingly rigged to increase the profits of billionaires and billionaire corporations, with an expectation that they can become rich? 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

We Can’t Evolve Our Way Out of the Population Explosion


Every species of life has evolved and is here because they successfully adapted to change and had more offspring.  The human population explosion presents risks we’d all like to avoid, such as global economic collapse, famine, and epidemics, but it is caused by having more offspring, exactly the success pattern that got us here in the first place.  We can’t evolve or adapt our way out of this – we will run out of energy and food sooner or later – so we need to reduce our birth rate to a sustainable level by using our brains and being creative – instinct won’t do it for us.  More advanced technologies, conservation, and everything else we are doing today will unfortunately only enable people to have more children, worsening our problems.  Politicians and the media won’t talk about this problem, so we need to.  It is the toughest problem we’ve ever face, and millions or possibly billions of lives hang in the balance. Here are some more in-depth thoughts on this most important topic. Continue reading