Category Archives: sustainability

How Long Can We Afford Our Weather Disasters?


2017 was a record year for the cost of weather disasters, and this article reviews them in detail.  Infrastructure has become critically overdue for repairs during the last few years. Can we afford to fix the outcomes of weather disasters in the future?  When will we no longer be able to afford to cope with weather disasters or fix our infrastructure?  Can that time be far away?

I hope to stick around and watch, and hope that Americans will get smarter (and more principled) soon.

Thanks for reading — Tim

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Agricultural Practices Can Mitigate Global Warming


This article from the Weather Underground folks pulls together several study results to show how farmers around the world are finding new methods that reduce the negative effects of climate change and provide sustainable, productive agriculture.  We need a LOT more of this kind of thinking, and hopefully it will help buy us time until we can see our way to controlling the population explosion.  We will never be safe and our civilization will never be sustainable in the long run without that.

Thanks for reading — Tim

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

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

Article on Declining US Birthrate Misses Most Important Reason


(reposted from my rant blog – Tim)

I just read an article purporting to give the reason young people in the United States are having fewer children than they used to and, while the arguments they give are reasonable and probably correct, they completely missed an important reason that I have heard some young people give: they don’t want to have kids who will inevitably suffer the disastrous consequences of the population explosion.  While this motivation may not be shared by the majority (yet), the number who understand human civilization’s greatest challenge ever is growing.  To me that suggests there is hope, as people need to be working on curbing population growth now, and that perhaps at least some of the worst predictions will be avoided or mitigated to have less damaging effects.  It’s only a small glimmer, and it still seems that our economic systems (like our reproductive ones) are aimed directly at creating disasters of global scale, but any hope at this point is more than welcome.  Please work against the population explosion by supporting family planning and economic aid to the poor, both inside the United States and worldwide.  If we don’t drastically reduce human birthrates our grandchildren will see energy and food become un-affordable or unavailable, among other possibly-worse things.

Thanks for reading.  — Tim

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