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
Tag Archives: climate change
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
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
Yesterday as I walked outside the building where I work, a single monarch butterfly was working its way up wind across the parking lot, heading South. The day before in the afternoon a single monarch butterfly was working its way south, slowly flapping up and over my house, also headed south. Was it always like this? ( It was not!) Continue reading
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
An excellent article recently appeared at Spiegel Online International titled “The Warming World: Is Capitalism Destroying Our Planet?” and I highly recommend reading it through to the end. In it the authors give in-depth information on the current status of the global climate, relating it back to human activity and national and international politics. (Millions of tons of CO2 going into the atmosphere every day has to have an impact, sooner or later.) The politics of various key nations and the negotiations at past climate conferences are described, and a lot of the latest climate science is brought forth. The topic is a bit frightening but of such critical importance to us that, really, every adult should have to read this article (whether they believe it or not).
Then, better informed, we need to take action, vote for politicians who are deserving, and “clean up our acts” by making many changes in our selves, our decisions, and our lifestyles in order to preserve a reasonably habitable world for our kids. The trouble is … it might already be too late.
Thanks for reading — Tim
Awareness of humanity’s biggest problems is rising. While there appears to finally be a slow groundswell of popular understanding and alarm about what humans are doing to the planet (which is quite late but very good), there is still a lot of mishandling (and often misrepresentation) of the news. This results in persistent widespread misconceptions about our position and probable future on the planet. So what kinds of things are we “not getting”? Continue reading