Tag Archives: alternative energy

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

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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 Religion Help or Hinder in the Growing Overpopulation Crisis?


Religion typically requires faith, the suspension of disbelief and reason, an extreme gullibility, if only temporary.  My worry is that many religious people don’t return to reason.   Such people can be very difficult to deal with. Some of them are fanatics, or are evolved into fanatics by clever manipulation.  Isn’t reason essential to our survival? Continue reading

A Better Vision of a Likely Future


Advanced technologies will give us excellent data on future disasters.  As we plunge headlong toward a time of population-driven crises, struggling to put band-aids on climate change, pollution, and other results of the population explosion, I see rapid development of new technologies that may not slow the disasters but will provide much better information on them and may connect us each far more intimately to them.  Information technology may not save us, but it will make us much more aware of the details. Continue reading

The Quality of Future Life on Earth Depends on Changing the Way We Think


Are we reaching the practical limits of our intelligence as a species?  Looking around at our world it seems obvious that we are making huge problems for ourselves by growing faster and more numerous than our environment can sustain.  Politically and economically we appear to be functioning more and more in a “thrashing” mode, where our actions are not well-considered or coördinated, the outcomes fail to reflect lasting or meaningful improvements, and we fail to reduce the risks of big problems that are becoming more obvious every day.  It seems we need to become smarter about ourselves and our world, and take a more realistic view of our global problems. But what factors are preventing us from doing this, and what improved understanding must we gain to make improvements?  We can’t all be experts, but in the United States we all can vote and need to do so intelligently to ensure our leaders are capable of solving the big problems we face.  Can we learn and change our thinking and voting in time to avoid ever larger problems in the future? Continue reading

Is the Pentagon Finally Beginning to Address Symptoms of the Population Explosion?


The US military may be starting to awaken to the realities of the population explosion.  Reading the March 9th, 2012 edition of the NDIA (National Defense Industry Association) newsletter I came across an article titled “Panetta Makes It Official: Military Must Become Greener” that gives some insight into the growing concern in the Pentagon about energy supplies for the military. The article mentions a six-year DOD (Department of Defense) initiative aimed at reducing fuel and energy consumption in all areas of the United States military, and it cites some interesting numbers:
– More than 400 forward bases in Afghanistan currently consume between 250 and 7500 gallons of fuel each every day, depending on their size
– Large military bases consume around 50,000 gallons of fuel per day
– The U.S. military consumes 50 million gallons of fuel per month in Afghanistan
– The military just purchased 450,000 gallons of biofuels for testing, its largest purchase of biofuels ever
– The U.S. military consumes less than 2% of the nation’s fuel supply
All of this got me thinking about all the facilities and equipment using that fuel. 50 million gallons per month is a staggering amount. What will happen when money and fuel run short as the population peaks (with attendant economic upheavals), and begins to decline, which could occur as soon as 2040? Continue reading

Conservation – An Important Part of Our Lives Now and in the Future


How will we live when fossil fuel reserves have almost run out?  Scientists and students of human history accept that human population will continue to explode until the energy sources fueling this incredible expansion start to run out.  It is clear that a collapse of civilization will occur, probably over a period of decades in the mid-to-late 21st century.  The change will be too rapid to cope with effectively, especially given skyrocketing energy costs and infrastructure breakdowns.  The magnitude of the disasters involved will vary depending on how soon we wise up as a species, improve our long-range planning, and get serious about mitigating the coming challenges. While substitute energy sources will be developed quickly, the sheer numbers of humans being born onto the planet, day by day, may exceed our ability to build and deploy the replacement hardware and infrastructure, and the inability of most people to afford it may be an additional problem.  

In the aftermath people will live quite differently from how we live today.  After a period of decline that might last several decades, or perhaps a century, what remains will stabilize and coalesce into a new human civilization with some significant differences from what we know today.  For instance, energy consumption per person will need to be a tenth or less of what people currently consume in North America.  Here are a few ideas that might describe how we will live then. Continue reading